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In this volume, which deals with the myths and reli¬ 
gious practices of pre-Columbian America in their relacian 
to habits of life ai>d the growth of eivilizationj the question 
is frankly faced whether these manifestations of ancient 
culture were of independent origin or had been imported 
from the Old World* The view has been favoured by 
some writers that America remained isolated from the rest 
of the world from early Pleistocene times until it was dis¬ 
covered by Columbus and conquered by the Spaniards^ and 
that we should account for the existence there of habits of 
life, habits of thought, myths, folk-tales, &c., similar to 
those found in Asia and elsewhere, by accepting them as 
proofs of the ** psychic unity of mankind* Even the 
most highly complex beliefs, myths, and deities should, 
according to this theory, be regarded as natural products 
of the human mind* “ Similar needs we are informed, 
“ produce similar results." It was not, however, uotil 
comparatively late In the history of man that signs of pro¬ 
gress were revealed in the New World- There is nothing 
of importance older in America, as the Americanists inform 
us, than 200 s.c*, the date usually applied nowadays to 
the beginning of what Is called the ^'Archaic period AU 
the great pre-Coiumbtan civilizations, the Maya of Central 
America, the Peruvian of South America, and the Axtcc of 
Mexico, fall within the Christian era. Indeed, the *Aztec 




was mediavaJ and ite beginnings are obscure, for it seems 
to have been superimposed on an earlier civilization which 
may have been as old as the Maya. Thus we find that in 
America the early growth and the early fusions of culflire 
took pbee after China had been welded into an empire 
under the Han dynasties^ and after the mixed communities 
of China and those of Cambodia and Indonesia had become 
seafarers on the Pacific. Much has been made of the 
fact that even Mexican civilization was still in, or had 
scarcely emerged from, the scMralled Age or Stage of Stone 
when the Spanish conquests took place, metals having been 
used chiefly for ornamental or religious purposes. The 
Su-shen, a people of north-eastern Siberia, who have been 
called " the Vikings of the East ”, were, however, as is 
shown in this volume, likewise a “ Stone Age " people, 
although they were known for many centuries to the 
Chinese as seafarers and traders. The Indonesians, another 
people who used implements and weapons of stone, pene¬ 
trated the North Pacific and effected settlements in Japan 
early In the Christian era, and also discovered and colonized 
the islands of Polynesia. 1 n connection with the latter 
“ drift the late Mr. Percy Smith refers in his Havjaiki 
to evidence which tends to show that the earliest Poly¬ 
nesian wanderers left India, an ancient homeland, as far 
back as the fourth century B.c. They were not only 
daring but expert mariners, and even after settling on the 
coral islands of Oceania continued to set out on long and 
adventurous voyages of exploration. Smith has, in this 
connection, recorded the native story of the experiences of 
a great Polynesian seaforer who reached the Antarctic. 
“The frozen ocean”, referred to in the traditional account 
of the voyage, “ is”, says Smith, “expressed by the term 
Tt idi^uks-d-pia.^ in which tm is the sea, aka (Maori) is ice, 
A-pta means—‘as’, ‘like', ‘after the manner of’; pia^ 



the arrow-root, which, when scraped, is exactly like soow.'^ 
Another indication of the distances traversed by the ancient 
Polynesian marinera is obtained by means of the 
the*half human, half monster of ancient Maori carvings, 
which has two long tusks protruding from its mouth. 
Smith has idendhed this “wonder beast " or, as the Hin¬ 
dus would have called it, this maiara, with the walrus or 
sca-elephant, which is seen only In high latitudes. Ton- 
gan traditions refer to voyages of 2400 and even of 4200 
miles. More often than not wrote Mr. Percy Smith, 
“they (the Polynesians) made these adventurous voyages 
with the definite object of establishing new colonics in 
which to settle.” Their canoes were not exactly similar 
to those now in use. “ Much larger and better sca-going 
vessels were formerly employed ”, we are reminded. Ellis, 
the missionary, writing a century ago, remarked on the 
resemblance between the larger Polynesian vessels and 
those used by the ancient Greeks and the heroes of Homer, 
The distances between the various small islands of 
Oceania, which were visited and colonlzetl by the Poly¬ 
nesian wanderers, were greater than is the distance between 
America and Oceania. A people who reached Easter 
Island could. It is held, have hardly missed a great continent. 
That America was reached is possible. The coco-nut palm 
grew there in ancient times, and it was introduced into the 
islands of Oceania by the Polynesians. According to the 
traditions of the Marquesan Islanders, they procured their 
first coco-nut from the north-east, the direction in which 
America lies. The coco-nut was anciently grown in In¬ 
donesia and in India, Whether it is native to Indonesia 
or America is, as yet, uncertain. The important point is 
that the coco-nut was carried across the Pacific by ancient 

But the Polynesians were not, as has been indicated. 



the only explorefs of the Pacific Ocean. Great and wide¬ 
spread movements of eastern scafiirliig peoples were in 
progress some centuries before and after the birth of Christ. 
The Polynesian migrations were connected with diese 
movements, which cmaiiatHl chiefly from Cambodia^where 
a complex civiliitation was in existence as far back as the 
eighth century B,c. 

It is not rash to assume that there was a psycholo¬ 
gical motive for these ancient race movements. Large 
numbers of peoples were not likely to have been stirred 
to face the perils of uncharted seas merely for love of 
adventure and a desire for change. It is more likely that 
the daring mariners were searching not merely for “fresh 
woods and pastures new”, for lonely uninhabited coasts 
and alluring and peaceful islands, but for something they 
required, something which they wished to obtain no 
matter at what cost of labour and endurance. In other 
words, they were evidently prospecting for precious 
metals, precious stones, pearls, &c,, for which a great 
demand had grown up in centres of ancient civilization. 
This view explains why the movements of these ancient 
drifts followed, as Mr. \V. J. Perry was the first to point 
out, the distribution of the pearling beds of the world, 
and why, wherever pearls are found, wc find also similar 
complex religious myths, beliefs, and practices. Gold, 
silver, precious stones, jade and jadeitc, obsidian, curative 
herbs (and those supposed to be curative and lifc-pro- 
tonging) were similarly searched for and found. In this 
connection it is of special interest and importance to find 
that the pre-Columbian civilization of America was deeply 
impregnated with the religious beliefs and practices and 
habits of life that obtained among the treasure-seekers of 
the Old World. The Maya people settled in the most 
unhealthy parts of Central America, and it is surely not 



merely a coincidence that it is in these districts precious 
metals were and are still found. If the chief attraction 
had not been gold, would not the early colonises have 
searched for and settled in a country which demanded 
a smaller toll on human life? As is shown in Chapter I, 
gold was regarded by the pre-Columbian Americans not 
only as a precious but as a sacred substance. It was, as 
the Aztecs called it, an emanation ” or “excretion of the 
gods", and it was used in the New World in the same 
manner and for the same purposes as it was used in the 
Old World. That is a very remarkable fact to which 
full recognition and consideration must be given. It 
cannot be explained away by the theory of “psychic 

In India gold was, as ancient texts state clearly, “a 
form of the gods". Wc are, in these texts, informed 
explicitly that “gold is immortal life; , , . gold, indeed, 
is fire, light, and immortality". The ancient Egyptians 
regarded gold as “the flesh of the gods", and in the 
Empire period inscriptions of the temple of Wady Abbad, 
which refer to gold as such, the goddess Isis is made to 
say to the Pharaoh, Seti I: “ I have given thee the gold 
countries, , . , fine gold, lapis-lazuli, and turquoise.” 
This goddess was also connected with and the giver of 
the Artemtiia herb which effected cures, as was believed, 
being impregnated with her “life substance" like the red 
Jasper called “ Blood of Isis*', The sun god Ra was 
believed to have bones of silver, flesh of gold, and hair of 
lapis-lazuli, and in Asia lapis-lazuli was supposed to be 
“the essence of gold”. 

Like the Buddhists O'f India, China, and Japan, and 
like the ancient Gauls, the Aztecs of Mexico accumulated 
precious metals and precious stones and ornaments made 
of these in symbolic shapes, to increase their store of 




religious influence or “jnerit**. There is, in short, not 
a vestige of originality in the Mexican symbolism of 
gold, silver, and precious stones. The case for “inde^ 
pendent origin" is therefore greatly weakened by Aich 
a tesL 

It is, however, when we come to deal with'railk- 
symbolism that the theory of “psychic unity” is subjected 
to a particularly heavy strain. In Chapter XI, which 
deals with the milk goddess, and with the complex ideas 
connected with the agave plant which arc fundamental in 
Mexican religion, it is shown that these ideas and the 
associated practices arc similar to the ideas connected with 
Various milk-yielding plants in India and Europe, and 
that we must go to Ancient Egypt to trace the history of 
such arbitrary connections as those of mllk-yiclding 
domesticated animals with certain milk-yielding plants, 
of sea-shells with milk, and of a milk-providing mother 
goddess with fish. The Mexican goddess, Mayauel, who 
suckles a fish, and is a pcrsomfication of the plant which 
yields a milky juice that ferments and intoxicates, had a 
long histo^ which dates back fer beyond the beginning 
of civilisation in America, and reaches for across the world 
to the cradle of ancient ci vilization In the Nile valley. 

Throughout this volume many links are traced be¬ 
tween the Old and New Worlds, but none is more 
remarkable than that aflforded by the American story of 
Yappan (Chapter Xllt) which so closely resembles, in all 
its essential fe:ttures, a characteristic Hindu myth found in 
the MakA~bh^rata, With that piece of evidence alone, 
a good circumstantial case is made out for the transference 
to pre-Columbian America of Hindu modes of thought, 
Hindu myths and deities, and Hindu religious practices, 
coloured somewhat by influences to which they had been 
subjected on the way between Indk and America and 



after being localised in the New World. It prepares 
too, for the finding of snake-worshipping peoples in the 
New World, and, likewise, for finding, as we do find, 
asceRcs who engaged in pciiitenrid exercises and begged 
for ft>^ as aims, with bowls in their hands, like the 
Brahmanic and Buddhist religious mendicants. It further 
prepares us for identifying the elephant-like figures on 
Maj'a sculptured stones, declared by some to be badly- 
drawn birds (see plate at page 32), and also to find 
that these elephants are represented with conventional 
ornamentation of symbolic character identical with the 
ornamentation of ^e elephant figures on Cambodian 
sacred stones^ That Buddhist influence reached America 
is clearly indicated by the Quctzalcoad figures reproduced 
on plate at page 256. As is well known, the Buddhists 
blended with their complex faith the myths and religious 
practices of the various peoples among whom they 

Throughout this volume it is shown that there are 
ample data which point to fusions of myths and beliefs in 
America, similar to Old World fusions. The American 
Tlaloc-lore links with the Dragon-lore of China and 
Japan and with the Naga-lore of India, When we come 
to deal with the goddesses, and especially with the goddess 
of jade or jadcite, water, and herbs—her herb is that 
of IsiS—we again meet with complexes that have no 
history in the New World, but arc similar to those whose 
history can be traced in the Old World (Chapters VII 
and XIl), 

Anthropologists who favour the view that pre-Colum¬ 
bian American religion and civilization were of independent 
origin have, of necessity, to explain why the myths and 
practices of the New World assumed at the very beginning 
those complex features which, lu the Old World, resulted 



from the fusions and movements of many peoples of 
different radal types, after a lapse of time much greater 
than that covered by New World civilization from start 
to finish. Several Americanists have insisted on the 
homc^encity of the New World peoples and their 
isolation from a remote period—some insist on isolation 
dating as far back as the Ice Ages. They have failed, 
however, to explain why the American races should have 
been the last to emerge from a state of savagery, and 
why, once they emerged, their progress should have 
been so phenomenally rapid* 

Is it possible, granted that America received its popu** 
Jation early in Pleistocene times—contention yet to be 
proved—that a people who had so long remained in a 
state of stagnation, should have, once the seeds of civiliza¬ 
tion were sown, surpassed even the ancient Egyptian and 
Mesopotamian peoples in the rapidity of their progress? 
Could they have achieved in a few generatioiis what the 
earliest civilized peoples In the world achieved only after 
the lapse of a good many centuries? When ques¬ 
tions like these are asked, it becomes difficult to rqect 
the view that the sudden growth of civilization in America 
resulted from the intrusions of minorities from centres of 
Old World culture. When, further, it is found that so 
many myths, deities, belieft, &c., common to the Old 
World arc found in the New, the contention seems sound 
that the onus of proof for their faith must be Jaid on 
those who favour the theory of independent origin* 





Thi OuiiiDui Of Gold - - 





Growth or Ntw Wotio CmLixAttoH ^ 





The Ikdiak EtiftlAHT w AsmIiicah Art 





wtTH A History - - - 








CiLTSt AKD Not^EMfe$r IN Ahriica 








SiA RoimiR of Pacifii: Marihirr 




Water Boriajjs aad the Siiif or Death 




Creuation Mm onitR BoRfAi. Customs 


' 4 i 


Thb Mile Godoesr ano hrr Fot Sniioli 



Thr Jrwt^water and MucwoRt Gooote 




Goodssses Of Lovf aho Food 




Tlalqc and THl Dragott - » - 


* 3 + 


Wkite Missionarirr ard Whit! Gooc ^ 




Two Great Goi» - - * * 





Monfis FOR Migrations 





















POLYNESIA -.. * * * 











7 * 











REGIONp PERU - - - - - - - - 


TEON OF PULQUE _ ^ ^ - jtS 




LICUE . - . - * - * . ^ - MO 

THE LlFE-GIVEaS - - - - * * * * - - as# 

butterfly deities - - - - * - - - - ai« 



THE WATER CONTROLLER - - * - * - - 14^ 


FLUENCE ^ - ^ 5 * 





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THE PLATEAU OF MEXICO *-it!«rpc.i sciiluj 

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The Glamour of Gold 

Aa Aodcdt Qutii—A merrcaa S»p«nr£rEaaf canaKtti wJrh G-old— 
Pvnllcl Ciutonii md 8«lldi in Amcrin, Atlt, add Europe—M en inm Gold 
m » Dhiqe Emuitiion jEwek Uid at T«tnplc Foupdatiodf—Mocvcaa Cqlt 
flf GoEd-worker*—Tb? God q{ Gdd^Huj^jin Sdoidixt—The "fightjug 
Cbaace*' Cdmbat—Oold » la EllJcIr—JeweU ofrred to Delilta In Asia &tul 
America—Religioiu Merit" id Wealih—Tht Mexican Tmuure-- 

JewcEi baried with the Deid—Why Warner* wore Jewdi—Jewdi aod Jd&li 
—Culture Udks beLwcen the Old lud New World. 

The famous “ footprints ” of Buddha, which may 
be seen impressed on hard rock in eastern lands, are 
essentially relics of early Buddhist missionary enterprise, 
while the complex and borrowed symbols that adorn 
them remind us of the debt owed by Buddhism to earlier 
faiths. There are similarly to be found on the heights 
and hollows of pre-Columbian American mythologies, 
associated with groups of familiar imported symbols, 
undeniable traces, comparable to Buddha's footpKnts, of 
the activities and influence of those early missionary- 
prospectors who wandered f^ and wide in i|ue3t of gold 
and gems and curative herbs. That ancient ijuest, like 



the Arthurian quest of the Holy Grail, had originally 
a religious signihcarice. Precious metals and stones and 
precious herbs were supposed to be impregnated with 
divine influence and consequently to possess life-^ving 
and life-prolonging properties, and they were^ greatly 
valued by those ancient peoples whose religious ideas 
were rooted in the fear of death, of pain, and the fifties 
of old age. The search for them was consequently 
hallowed by the performances of religious rites. When 
Columbus, in (j02, reached Costa Rica (the “Rich 
Coast") and the region since called Veragua, he found 
that the natives, who were descendants of settlers from 
Maya and other culture centres, practised rigorous fating 
' and continence when they went in quest of gold. “A 
superstitious notion with respect to gold”, comments 
Washington Irving,* “appears to have been very pre¬ 
valent among the natives. The Indians of Hispaniola 
observed the same privations when they sought for it, 
abstaining from food and from sexual intercourse. 
Columbus, who seemed to look upon gold as one of 
the sacred and mystic treasures of the earth, wished to 
encourage similar observances among the Spaniards, ex¬ 
horting them to purify themselves for the rese-irch of 
the mines by fasting, prayer, and chastity.” 

A simiUar spirit of religious fervour originally 
attenried the search for ginseng (mandrake) in Korea. 
This plant—which, as Dr. Rendel Harris shows,* was 
anciently connected with the goddess Aphrodite and other 
goddesses of similar type—is found chiefly by the Koreans 
in their Kang-ge Mountains.* *'lt is rare”, Mrs. Bishop 
informs us, “ and the search so often ends In failure, that 

^ Tl# EJfi if CkfumfiJtff ho^ik. ^V, Ctuplcf VL 

^ Tile jfnrmt ^ 

* WiM li fflwie T^uaVlr llwicj Cullinud *Mi2Ktf^ 



the common people credit it with magical properties and 
believe that only men of pure lives can find it.”- The 
quest of ginseng dates back till early times in the Far 
East.* Like gold dust* ground jade, &c., it was supposed 
to contain life-renewing and life^rolonging qualities, and 
it is still in demand among Chinamen suffidently wealthy 
to be able to purchase it.* 

The earliest searchers for precious metals, and other 
precious or sacred substances, who settled in Spain before 
the introduction of bronze working in Western Europe, 
were an intensely religious people from the east, who, 
as their relics show, adored the mother goddess of the 
Palm-tree cuh. They have been credited by Si ret* with 
having introduced those religious ideas and ceremonies 
that gave origin to Druidism, a feature of which was the 
Gaulish custom of depositing large quantities of gold and 
silver in sacred lakes and in sacred groves. 

The Aztecs of Mexico venerated precious metals, 
precious stones, pearls, and herbs, and attached to them 
a religious value. Their native name tor gold was 
ieocuitla/lf a word formed from leori (“ god ”) and caulstl 
(“ an emanation ”)* and signifying “ divine emanation 

Gold, silver, pearls, precious stones, &:c,, were offered 
with seeds and the blood of human beings to the Mexi¬ 
can gods. These precious or sacred things were not 
only deposited in temples but laid beneath their founda¬ 
tions. Bernal Diaz, who accompanied Cortez, the 
conqueror of Mexico, Informs us that when the temple 
of Tenochtitlan (city of Mexico) was being constructed 
the natives deposited at its foundations offerings of gold. 

L KtriA ihr VgL (Loodem 

* A imjle TPot of pEiiciif m^j tciit £44. 

* T&me XXX, 131 **ti. 

r^r^bJe * Tbe ward ii umJ So i frwn wnffc 



silver, pearls, and precious stones, and bathed them 
with the blood of many Indian prisoners of war who 
were sacrificed ", With the precious metals and gems 
they “placed there every sort and kind of sedti that 
the land produces, so that their idols should gjve them 
victories and riches and large crops”. 

Bernal Diaz proceeds to tell how discovery was made 
by the Spaniards that this practice was formerly prevalent 
in the conquered state. The Christian Church “ to our 
patron and guide, Sefior Santiago ” was, he tells, erected 
on the site of the demolished Aztec temple. When the 
workmen opened part of the ancient foundations in order 
to strengthen them, “they found much gold and silver 
and thalchihuim (sacred stones, including jadelte), and 
pearls and seed pearls and other stones”. A similar 
discovery was made by a Spanish settler at another part 
of the temple area. 

On being questioned by the Spaniards regarding this 
custom, the Mexicans said it was true that the natives 
had formerly deposited precious metals and jewels at the 
temple foundations, “and that so it was noted in their 
books and pictures of ancient things 

There was anciently a Mexican cult and caste of gold- 
seekers and gold-workers. Their chief centre was at 
Atzcapotzalco, about three miles to the north-west of 
Tenochtitlan (city of Mexico). This town was the capital 
of the Tepaneco people before the Aztecs invaded that 
region. Their special cult god was Xipc Totec* whose 
name signifies “god of the flaying” or “our lord the 
flayed". He was worshipped generally throughout 
Mexico and very specially honoured at an annual fesrival. 

> TAf Tw ffiiitij Cwxqmtii Sfnpn {BngSiili trLOib^i^n j 

K^kluft Socielj pubLicxtion | &£Hk I tj Chupt^r XCI 


Those who neglected homage to him were supposed to 
suffer punishment becoming victims of skin diseases, 
smallpox, and head and eye pains. As Xipe was the 
source of these afflictions, he was the only deity who 
could rc#iove them. In this respect he resembled the 
Anatolian mouse and sun god Smintheus Apollo, who in 
the Iliad shoots arrows of disease from his silver bow, and 
thus sends “a sore plague” so that the folk begin to 
perish. The plague rages until the offended god is 
propitiated with sacrifices, prayers, and songs: 

*'So all day bug worshipped they the god with music, singing 
the beautiful pxan, the sons of the Achatans making music to the 
far-dartcr; and his heart was glad to hear".‘ 

Xipe had animal and human forms. Like the Chinese 
god of the west, he was a dger ;* he was likewise the red 
spoonbill and the azure codnga. In human shape he was 
invariably coloured yellow and tawny, wearing a tassellcd 
cap, a human skin which surrounded the upper part of 
his body, and a green kilt; he carried a red-rimmed 
yellow shield and a spear or sceptre. 

The rites observed in connection with Xipes festival 
were of a particularly savage character. Criminals and 
prisoners were sacrificed and flayed. Those found guilty 
of the crime of stealing gold were supposed to have 
wronged and insulted the god, and they were kept as 
prisoners until the festival, when they were flayed alive; 
their hearts were afterwards torn out and their bodies cut 
up and eaten with ceremony. Youth fill warriors mean¬ 
while dad themselves in the skins of victims, and fought 
a sham battle, taking prisoners who had subsequently to 
be ransomed. A captive or criminal sacrificed to Xipe 

*■ IftAd, BaaIc. t {Luait "nd Mjcfi truiEiiEea^*ia, 1^14 c^stion}^ 

1 Tht Cliicicic ttfcf |ad gj the vciE, ww wiili mtLiJ, wtU ■■ with 

■ulLUBO^ lad Vcdiu^ 


was supposed to bring luck to his owner—that is, to the 
warrior who had taken him in battle, or the individual 
who had been robbed of goJd. The owner gave the skin 
to men who went about b^ging alms and broughft what 
thejr received to him* At the end of tvrenty after 
the festival all the human skins, then smelling horribljf, 
were deposited in a cave. Those who had worn them 
purified themselves by washing, a ceremony which was the 
occasion of great rejoicings. Victims of those diseases 
which were supposed to be caused by Xipe assisted in 
disposing of the human skins. It was believed that by 
touching the skins they invoked Xipe to cure them. 

As the victim, who was doomed to be sacrificed to 
Xipe, was, during the period preceding the festival, 
regarded as the adopted son of his owner, tt may be that 
criminals and prisoners were substitutes for sons and that 
originally parents sacrificed their own children, as did the 
Irish worshippers of the golden god Crom Cruach. This 
"king idol of Erin” was, according to one reference, 
surrounded by “ twelve idols made of stones, but he was 
of gold. ... To him they used to offer the firstlings of 
every issue and the chief scions of every clan.” Another 
version tells that Crom Cruach was "adorned with gold 
and silver, and surrounded by twelve other statues with 
bronze ornaments'V It is spcdfically stated m a Gaelic 

To him without glory 

U"hey would kill ihcir piteou?, wretched ofBpring, 

With much wailing and peril, 

To pour iheir blood around Crom Crnachn 

In Gaelic literature there Is evidence chat criminals and 
prisoners were given *‘a fighting chance^'. If they could 

^ Ct/rifmr^ Val. XVI. tr 

h M/Mipt Chipt€f Vp 7. 


overcome those selected 10 guard them and then out¬ 
distance them in a race, they were allowed to regain their 
freedom* A custom of like character obtained in ancient 
Mexico in connection with the Xipe festival which was 
consecrated also to the terrible war god Huitzilopochtli, 
whoj litcc XipCj had solar attributes. The Mexiesn's 
prisoner was painted white and had his hair decorated 
with tufts of cotton. He was then placed on a great 
stone shaped like a millstone and attached to it by a rope, 
which was Jong enough to allow him freedom of move¬ 
ment when engaging in combat. The weapon placed in 
the hands of the prisoner was a wooden club in the head 
of which, however, feathers instead of flints were stuck. 
Against him went in succession strong, young wamors, 
wearing the skins of Xipe's victims, and armed with 
swords and shields. In some cases the prisoner was set 
free if he overcame in single combat five warriors; in 
others he was attacked by warrior after warrior until he 
was himself struck down. The story is told of a fierce 
gladiatorial conflict of this character In which the hero 
was a general of the Tlascala people, who had assisted 
Cortes against their hereditary enemies the Aztecs* He 
had been taken prisoner almost by accident^ hut refused 
the offers of Montezuma, the Aztec king, to return home 
or to accept a high position in his service* He preferred 
to fight his hac^ enemies to the death. Accordingly he 
was tied to the stone, and before he fell he slew eight and 
badly injured twenty of the Aztec champions.* 

The belief that Xipe, the cult god of gold-workers, 
cured diseases of the skin and eyes i$ of special intcrese, 
as gold was not only connected with the sun, “ the eye'" 
of heaven, but was of itself, as has been indicated, an 

^ A]M Afiiscm Mmk^ laEn pp. i|i^i (Eciftiib trABilalian, 



elixir. Being impregnated with divine influence or " life 
substance from the divine source of life, it could renew 
youth and prolong existence in this world and in the next. 
That is the reason why gold-dust is regarded its an 
important ingredient in the native medicines of In^ia and 
China. "He who swallows gold”, says a Chinese text, 
“will exist as gold; he who swallows jade wiU exist as 
long as jade," Both gold and Jade were “the essence of 
the dark sphere ” (heavcn)L 

In India,as far back as Vedte times, gold “that ", one 
text says, “men of old with their progeny sought," was 
given a religious vduc. “Of long life becomes he that 
wears It^*'^ is a highly significant statement Gold, 
doubdess," runs another passage, “ is a form of the gods 
. . . gold is immortal life , . , gold, indeed, is fire, iisht, 
and immortality." * ^ e » 

Precious metals and gems radiated divine influence, and 
the custom was widespread in ancient times of accumulat¬ 
ing them in temples and palaces, as well as of wearing 
them for protection and good luck. In Ludan's Dt Dea 
Syria (Chapter XXXII) a description is given of the statue 
of Hera ; 

“ Without she is gilt with gold, and gems of great price adorn 
her, some white, some sea-green, odieis wine-dark, others flashing 
like fire. Besides these there are many onyxes from Sardinia and 
the jacinth and emeralds, the offerings of the Egyptians and of the 
Indians, Ethiopians, Medes, Armenians, and Babylonians,”* 

The temple is compared to “ the rising sun ", 

“The foundation rises from the earth to the space of two 
lathnnis, and on this tests the temple. The ascent to the icmpte 

* ^Otoo*, Tit Ktliputt S/mm «/ CUm*, Brnk. L, V.iL J, pp. api-t, 

t ’9^ ff- «1> *3®. *39. 39S-S«. 

H. A. Sirao^i tfifuLnifln^ Laod^ 


TSk uppcf vir* ■hpi^r* iht: Tem<r^ an4 e1if Ipu'cr □ IrtMl nJ tJlC lUinf-WiUfk. 


IS butli of wood and not particularly wide: as you tnouTit even the 
great hall exhibits a wonderful spectacle^ and k ts ornamented with 
golden doors, The temple within is ablaae with gold, and the ceil* 
ing Irf^ts entirety is gol^n,” > 

PrecioiA metals were not used for decorative purposes 
alone. 'At a spring festival they were sacrificed with 

“They cut down tall trees and set them up in the court; then 
they bring goats and sheep and cattle and hang them living to the 
trees; they add to these birds and garments and gold and silver 
work. After all is finished, they cany the gods around the trees 
and set fire under; in a moment all is a blaze,”* 

Reference has been made to the Gaulish custom of 
j depositing gold and silver in sacred groves and lakes. 

I None dared to touch these "gifts of numerous donors ”, 

The Romans plundered the sacred treasure of the 
Celts as the Spaniards did the sacred treasure of the 

In the Buddhist Paradise the "stock of merit”—that 
is, religious merit—was supposed to "grow in the following 
shapes, via. either in gold, in silver, in jewels, in beryls, 
in shells, In stones, in corals, in amber, in red pearls, in 
diamonds, &c., or in any one of the other jewels,* or in 
all kinds of perfumes, in flowers, in garlands, in ointment, 
in Inccnse-pQwdcr, In cloaks, in umbrellas, in flags, 

' PrefctiM fTv At Stron^t iMHiIiHoq, tondon, roii, Cbplrn XXIX-?OOC* 

* Ouplrf XLIX- 

*Dhd§rwi Vj 371 StTM^ IV, t I, I ij, 

* tn CbfiU, ink^ pwJi, iilTcr* *c, wtre in the of the dtMd 

n ta ihe Tmk^ ffom 4mf md }hrQ^«i| b the mi wtmhi, “Tli* 

rriboni whj gali uid ]mdv were wd ftw she TnaaEh of the dnd hoM go^ fw 

lie liie of peu-Li la ifej* «imcctiQB* {De ^iAw 9/ C^mm^ Bwik ^ 

Vah I* pf, 174 M *#^ 4 , For «ld€fioe that b Vrfie tlim ib. JoJii the ptnH wii iho- 
po*eil to hire Ikfe-^TiDf lee Hr fi3«raheEi4 ^ iq 

^rf 4 tfih f^/ii XLIl, 1897, IV, le. 



in banners^ or in lamps, or in all kinds of dancing, 
singing, and music”.- Sacred objects of ment-increising 
gold in the "Land of Blissincluded “nets of gold 
adorned with emblems of the dolphin, the sv^tika 
(3wai>htika), the nandyavarta, and the moon ” * g 

When Cortez, the famous Spanish plunderer, reached 
the city of Me:cico he came to hear of a great hoard 
of gold and jewels, which successive Aztec kings had 
accumukted and increased- Father Diego Dunn, a 
sixteenth cettfury writer, who procured his information 
from men that had taken part in the Spanish conquest, 
tells that the treasure was kept in a secret chamber, the 
small, low door of which had been covered with plaster 
shortly before the arrival of the Spaniards. The plaster 
was removed. 

"Entering by that narrow and low door, they foand a large 
and spacious room, in ihc middle of which wa.^ a heap of gold, 
jewels, and precious stones, as high as a man ; so high was it, that 
one was noi seen on the other side, . * . At the same time there 
was in this room a great of piles of very rich cotton 

cloths and wamends finery; there were hanging on the walls a 
great number of shields and arms, and devices of rich workman¬ 
ship and colours; there were many piles of vessels of gold, dishes 
ai'id porringers made according to their style, from which the kings 
ate, especially four large dishes made like platters, alii of gold, vety 
elaborately worked, as big as a large shield, and they were so filled 
with dust that one understood that many dap had passed In which 
they had not been in service. There were many gpid chocolate 
ctipSj made and decorated In the same manner of those of the 
gourds, used for drinking cacao, some with feet and others without; 
there were in the corners of the room many stones for working all 
manner of precious stones; in firte, there was in this room the 
greatest riches ever seen so that the Spaniards were surprised and 

* DncHpCkon of Sidkti.Tal^ blac Lriml ef filiii, \a BaddAtMt MmAIjIum 7^a {StcfiJ 

BMh t/tki Entrr, VeL XLIX, ^ 


No individual king was allowed to profit by this 
accumulated treasure. Fathei' Duran says in this con¬ 
nection ; 

\>ti the death of the King, the same day that he died, all the 
trcasurVthat he left of gold, stone, fcathere, and arms, and finally 
all his wardrobe, was put in that rootti^ with much care, as a 
sacred thing and of the gods”. 

Bernal Diaz gives fewer details about the secret chamber 
and its contents* He say's that when Cortez and some ot 
his captains entered it— 

“ they saw such a number of jewels and slabs and plates of 
gold and chalchihuites (sacred stones) and other great richer that 
they were quite earned away and did not know what to say about 
such weal th 

Andris de Tipia, one of Cortes’s captains, tells that after 
entering through the door they found— 

1 great number of cliflmhere, and m some of them consider¬ 
able <iusntity of gold in Jewels and idols and many feathers”,' 

Estimates of the value of the treasure vary from X7OO|Cs0O 
to a million and a half pounds sterling. 

Gold, jewels, and other precious articles were buried 
with the Mexican dead and especially with the bodies of 
monarchs, priests, and great warriors. In the narrative 
of *‘the Anonymous Conqueror”, a companion of Cortez,* 
a description is given of a burial custom t 

'^Thcy made a pit in the earth with walls of rough stone and 
mortar, in which they placed the dead seated in a chair. At hii 

1 F.Lhf r DJeSfl Puru, ItiUrriM Jt Iti Mim Jt Htn-'t. ^ Ww Tttrra 

RrKf. Bcfflll Dlv, r*» Trv Hninrj tf sit Ctmifwta if A'nv iS/iOS ^ A- 

P. {HiktuTt SMirtf paUiuLuin] | Tit GtUtmsk', 4rt m Atrittf Mtttn 

{.Mtn;i.U H, SiiiUe, New Vatk. . 

> ifttmt Jllift sfNnt ^ Taumltt, M«mi, 

Caitei So^, VaL I, 49 jNt* Vwk, ijtr). 


side they placed bis sword and shield^ buiying also certain Jewels 
of gold, I helped to take from a sepulchre jewels worth three 
thousand casccHanos,"* 

The dead were in need of protection, for the road jading 
to the Otherworld was beset with many perils. Their 
sacred jewel-charms were believed to protect souls and 
withal to stimulate them with their lifeHtonferring 
qualities as they had protected and stimulated them 
during the earthly state of existence. The gods them¬ 
selves were similarly charmed and protected- ** Put on 
thy disguising, the golden garment; clothe thyself with 
it", a poet sang to the god Xipe Totec.‘ 

Tacitus tells us that the <^styans, who searched for 
and traded in amber, a life-giving substance, worshipped 
the mother goddess, regarded the boar as her symbol, 
and believed that “ he who has that emblem about him, 
thinks hirnsclf secure even in the thickest ranks of the 
enemy, without any need of arms, or any other mode 
of defence .* In like manner Aztec warriors were pro¬ 
tected in battle by having their armour and weapons 
adorned with gold, jewels, and symbols, and by wearing 
talismans as ornaments- Shields of pure gold were used 
as votive offerings, but shields richly adorned with life- 
protecting and stimulating gold, pearls, jadeite, &c., were 
carried into battle. Lip and nose ornaments, which had 
a religious significance, were worn by the living and 
placed in graves with the dead. Idols were as richly 
decorated with precious or sacred metals and jewels and 
symbols in the New as in the Old World* Captain 
Andris dc TApia, who accompanied Cortez, has described 

’ MiM'nt, ShUpnt Ptoj (?rwWjii£T ^ Mf •/ 

t jtli New Vork), pji, ^ 

«f rtr Ckipter XLV. 


two stone Idols about three yards highj which he saw in 

swjie^\ he write% “was covered aver with mothcT-of- 
pearlfand over ihis, fastened with bitumen^ like a pasi^ were (set 
in) m^y jewds of goSdj and menj snike^ b?rd% and histories 
(hieroglyphs) made of small and large turquaises, of emeralds and 
amethysts, so that all the mother-of-pcaurl was covered, except in 
some places where they left it (uncovered) so as to make work 
with the stones. These idols had some pliunp snak^ of gold (as) 
girdles, and for collars each (one had) ten or twelve hearts made of 
gold, and for the face a mask of gold, and eyes of mirror (obsidian 
or iron pyrites)/'’ 

Mexican temples were lavishly decorated with gold 
and precious stones and other precious or sacred things, 
including richly coloured feathers- Subject towns and 
states paid tribute in gold and jewels. The precious 
metal might be given in dust or in bars^ or after being 
shaped into discs, plaques^ shields, diadems, &c. The 
Mexican hieroglyphic signs for gold were varieties of 
the swashtika which had origin in the Old World. 

Gold, Silver, pearls, precious stones, jade, and jadeite, 
8fc,, were thus as highly esteemed in the New World as in 
the Old, Withal, they were used in precisely the same 
way and connected with similar beliefs and practices* 
At the outset, therefore, the important question arises 
whether the habits of life and the habits of thought of 
the pre-Columbian treasure-seekers of the Americas were 
of spontaneous generation. Did their civilizations and 
their complex religious systems have independent origin 
in their homelands and develop there^ entirely isolated 
from and uninfluenced by those of much greater anti¬ 
quity in the Old World? Is it possible that the early 

I Qualcid bjr SiviUe in T4« Cildtmiiifi drt in Amini P- ’' S (Nrt* York'. 


peoples who reached America from Asia carried no 
vestige of religious belief with them—that each migration, 
and late, involved entire loss of memory, so.that 
immemorial modes of thought, and immemorial cu^oms 
and beliefs, were completely forgotten, and th#t after 
reaching the new land they set themselves to invent 
anew what their ancestors had invented before them, and 
to formulate religious ideas that had long been prevalent 
in the Old World whence they came ? 


Growth of New World Civilization 

Diitributign ofFopubikon—ActActioos Ckf nohciltbj Ai^Uh—I ntrcUtiE- 
tbo qf Cqjnplcz CiYiljuttan—Ait«f ki chc qf Americi—H qw 

Spuniofid* difcoTerod Gqld-mtnei —Ante Trndq W^m— Attt^ Cqntrql of 
Gold SupplJc*—SpanbnJi imlratE Aittt MciKodf—bdqtlYCi for Ae-^^uirinf: 
Wcdih— The ^mhetic Thtety —JewcIi ij “TakeUry Spinii""-—M euI 
Symbaiikm — The “GoMen Sou" and **SiliTr Moon"' m Old and New 
W orldi—Jade and Jodtlte—Piychological Motive fw Search for Treaiuft— 
Theory of the lodEpendEni DH|in of Complex BclJefi. 

The questions raised at the conclusion of the previous 
chapter are of vital importance in connection with the 
study of the religious systems of pre-Columbian America, 
As has been showrij gold and gems were searched for and 
found, and were utilized in much the same manner as in 
the Old World, This is a fact which no ingenious 
method of reasoning can well set aside. It is impcresiblc 
to ignore it. We must deal with it and we must accounc 
for it. tf it does not accord with any preconceived 
theory regarding the origin of New World dvilization, 
then that theory must be readjusted or wholly abandoned. 
Solid structures of fact must replace the “ hypotheticaJ 
bridges"" planned by those who had at their disposal 
much less evidence than Is now available. 

The necessity for this attitude is emphasized when we 
find that, owing to the religious value aEtached to precious 
metals and gems, the distribution and activities of the 
population were determined by the presence of these in 
different localities. Treasure-searchers were attracted to 



the most unhealthy districts of Central America^ and Into 
these carried the elements of a coinplejt civiliaation, com¬ 
plex relig^ious beliefs and symbols, and a highly developed 
art, the histories of which must be sought for els^here. 
The beginnings of Maya art and Maya religion qpnnot be 
discovered in the Maya country* 

The activities of the early searchers for substances of 
religious value led to the opening up of trade routes, 
and the straggle for the control of these caused rival 
peoples to establish and build up political organ lotions 
that exercised far and wide an overpowering influence* 
The Aztecs, like the Assyrians of Western Asia, formed 
a strong predatory state with purpose to enrich themselves 
at the expense of their neighbours. Their accumulated 
wealth had been won for them by military force and the 
constant threat of military reprisals. 

When Cortez, the Spanish conqueror of Mexico, found 
that gold was so plentiful in the Aztec capital, he became 
particulary anxious to discover the localities of the mines. 
According to Bernal Diaz, Montezuma, the Aztec king, 
informed Cortez that he was accustomed to receive gold 
from three difFcrcnt places. The chief source of supply, 
however, was the province of Zacatula (now called the 
Rio Balsas in Guerrero) on the south coast, and situated 
about a fortnigbt^s journey from the city of Mexico. 
There it was washed from the earth. Gold was obtained 
also from the sands of two rivers on the north coast in 
the province cdlcd Tustepee and from the countries 
occupied by the Chi nan tec and Zapotcc peoples* 

I ^Tht moil InafmiiSle, unbtiltli^lt UBtiltibk lowludi , .. tht 
hjgli4|^-feV<rii£ip ^6 atmait kuilialiiSl^ lawtindi of Petea lad Eiittm 
milur'^ >1 Prefetwr iJ [Ti* CiimMtM Wtihinjgcita, D,C, l^l+n 

pp, 21 $, 22^]. n it of ifKiil importit^ocr (4 And, tlui C^pui, the »atrv of 

cuaurt, W 2 I Ota t trihatiTj of thv Mottirut Htct, iliU ftEnoiH u the 

Ccok-tjl Hicr. h^icliiceij Ctld^ Losdoi^ 

fnm ^ 

^ It* 


Cortez arranged with Montezuma to send to the 
various gold-fields companies of Spaniards accompanied 
by escorts of Mexicans. In a letter to his king, Cortez 

“For'"each of his (Montezuma’s) own people I sent two 
Spaniards. Some went to a province called CuzuJa, eightj 
leagues from the great city of Tetnixtttan, the natives of which 
are his vassals, and there they were shown three rivers, from each 
of which they brought me same specimens of gold of very good 
quality, although it was taken out with mean tools, as they had 
only those with which the Indians extract 11, On the road they 
p^d through three provinces, according to what the Spniards 
said, of very fine land, and many hamlets and cities, and towns very 
populous, and containing buildings equal to any in Spain. They 
told me especially of a house and a fort, greater, stronger, and 
better built than the castle qf Burgos, and that the people of this 
province, called Tamazulnpo, were better d.ressed than any others 
we have seen, and, as it seemed to them, more intelligent.” 

The Spniards were next taken to the province called 
Maimiltcpeque, situated about seventy leagties distant 
^from Temixtitan in the direction of the sea-coa-st. There 
^they obtained samples of gold from a large river. 
I Another party went to a mountainous country called 
iTeniz, farther up the river. The people there were not 
|subject to Montezuma and their king was named Coateli- 
ilcamat. They spoke a distinct language, were very war- 
dike and were armed with long lances. The king allowed 
tlhe Spaniards to enter his country, but, because they 
%ere his enemies, refused that privilege to the Culfian 
^assals of Montezuma who accompanied them. The 
Spaniards were well received, and the people “showed 
them seven or eight mines where they took out gold”. 
fampTes were obtained for Cortez, to whom the native 
jmonarch sent presents of gold ornaments and of clothing. 



Another Spanish parly proceeded to the province of 
Tuchitepeque^ twelve leagues farther on in the direction 
of the sea-coast, and were there shown one or two places 
in which gold was to be obtained. In some localities 
nuggets were found on the surface of the earth/out the 
chief sources were the river sands from which gold-dust 
was washed. The gold was carried from the workings in 
tubes of cane or melted in pots and cast in bars.' 

Ill Tcnochtitlan (city of Mexico) there was in these 
days a great market in which gold and precious stones 
were exposed for sale. According to the Anonymous 
Conqueror it was held every fifth day. “ On one side of 
the plaza", he wrote, “are those who sell gold, and 
adjoining arc those who sell stones of various classes set 
in gold, in the shapes of various birds and animals.”- 

Trading expeditions brought Mexico city into touch 
with the areas In which precious metals and gems were 
found. Trade followed the Aztec *‘flag" and the "flag 
followed trade”. There appears to be little doubt that 
the chief motive for Aztec expansion was to secure control 
of trade. About a century and a half before the arrival 
of the Spaniards, Mayapan, the centre of Maya com¬ 
merce and industry, was devastated by the Aztecs, and 
solely, it would appear, because it had been a dangerous 
trading rival to Mexico city. Other states were either 
over-run or wholly or partly brought under subjection. 
In some cases tribute was paid and collected at the point 
of the sword. Sder, dealing with this aspect of Mexican 
life, illustrates how Mexican trade was nursed into pros¬ 
perity and protected by the Aztec kings, by relating the 
following tradition : 

* Scrail Diu, Tit Tfut tfitsty tkt CMyaur 5/ Sf^, V®t. IT, pp. up-Sj iniji 
Cartel, quivtrJ li)^ Minlu]] H, SiviHa. TAr An tn Antini Afrjrnt, 

pp. (a4-7. ^ CorJm No. t, pp. 6{-7. 


the wild forests of Mictl^uiquauhtla some mKsbitAilcs of 
the city of Uaxy^c murderously atcackcil and plundered a 
Mexicaji caravati which was returning home from Tabasco with 
costly goods, the news of which did not reach the Mexicans until 
years la^fip The ting who was then reigning^ Motccuhsoma the 
clder^ sutiiomcd nhuicamina, equipped an expedition to avenge the 
deadf and the crime was atoned by the exterminaibn of the entire 
tribe. A number of Mexican frniilies and about 6oO families 
from neighbouring cities situated in the valley of Mexico started 
cut to settle the vacant lands of the exterminated tribe^ under the 
leadership of four Mexican chieftains whom the king had chosen 
for his expedition. . . . Assault and anamination of Mexican mer¬ 
chants are almost always mentioned the mrirr htfi in the native 

Wars were waged with purpose to compel indepen¬ 
dent states to grant spcctaJ trading privileges. The 
Zapotccs, for instance, were forced “to allow Mexican 
merchants to pass through to the regions on the Pacific 
coast, and to grant them freedom of trade in their own 
territory The region over which the Aztecs extended 
their influence, or were in process of extending it when 
the Spaniards arrived, was that in which gold was used in 
greatest abundance. Where they did not obtain control 
of the gold-fields they were assured of supplies of gold 
not only by means of exchange but by payment of tribute. 
Montezuma, the Aztec king whose treasure was plundered 
by Cortez, received regularly every year rich tribute from 
the hot-land provinces. In Mexican documents ** there 
are many pictures, in colours, of tributes of gold, jewclSj 
feather ornaments and mantles, as well as portraits of the 
conquerors”* The codex known as the “Tribute Roll of 
Montezuma^* shows that tribute was paid also in gold- 
dust “ kept in gourds or cane tubes and in bats ”, and the 
names of places from which tribute was received arc 

^ ^jSmifkd* BQlJcLiia iS^ fi iff. 



given.' When the Spaniards obtained political control 
of the Mexican plateau, they exacted tribute in precisely 
the same manner as the Aztecs had previously done. 
The only difference was that they were more tyrannical 
and greedy. At the Congress of Americanists in Condoii 
in 1912 very special interest was taken in “a memorial or 
statement by the native inhabitants of Tepetlaoztoc (a 
small hill-town between Tetzcoco and Orumba) of the 
extortionate tribute exacted, and the ill-treatment suffered 
under the Spanish masters to whom successively they had 
been assigned by the King of Spain ”, The heavy tribute 
demanded had, it would appear, brought about a condition 
bordering on actual slavery. 

When it is considered how the social, economic, 
and religious life of pre-Columbian America, especially 
in centres of civilization, was as strongly influenced, 
as was the case in the civilizations of the Old World, 
by the fictitious value attached to ^uch a useless metal as 
gold, it is difficult Co believe that no cultural influences 
ever “flowed” in ancient times across the Pacific, Did 
the Americans follow the promptings of some mysterious 
human instinct when, to begin with, they set themselves 
to search for gold by washing river mud? How did 
they come to know of the existence of gold; how was it 
that they foresaw to what uses gold could be put? Was 
it a mere coincidence that they Invented a clay crucible 
and a blow-pipe similar to the Egyptian crucible and 
blow-pipe distributed throughout the Old World? Did 
they search for gold, pearls, jewels, amber, and jade or 
jadcite, which were all extremely difficult to find, simply 
because it was “natural” for them so to do? Was it 
because they were urged by that ssthetic sense supposed 
to be dormant in man, that they were overcome with the 

^ Sifill^ Tisff Artim Amiftni I at, 154, 



desire to ornament their bodies with jewels? Was it 
their aesthetic sense that caused them to produce hideous, 
grinning faces in gold, to disfigure their own ears, and to 
thrust^Jie so-called '* ornaments ” through their lips and 
noses? * Did they deposit their jewellery at temple foun¬ 
dations and bury them with their dead because they were 
prompted by their innate sense of beauty? How came it 
about that the ancient Americans, like the ancient Asiatics, 
Europeans, and Egyptians, established a gold standard 
and paid tribute m gold and jewels? Arc we to regard 
it as in no way surprising that they connected gold with 
the sun and silver with the moon as did other ancient 
peoples In the Old World, and that they should have 
accumulated precious metals and jewels to Increase 
religious “merit” and the power of the ruling monarch 
and to protect and stimulate themselves in this world and 
the next ? 

It cannot be argued that the Maya people at Chichen 
Uxa, Yucatan, threw jewellery into lakes and rivers, as 
did the Celts of Caul, because they were overcome by an 
overpowering sense of the beautiful: the jewels were 
votive offerings as were likewise the jewels deposited by 
pious natives at the foundations of their temple pyramid 
in Mexico city. Dr. William Robertson, the eighteenth 
century historian, recognixed this when he referred to the 
connection between deities and charms; 

“The mantttui or fiJtii of the North Atnericans were amulea 
or charms which they imagined to be of such virtue as to prtsert c 
the persons who reposed confidence in them from every disastrous 
event, or they were coniidered as tutelary spirits whose aid they 
might implore in circumstance of distress 

In Japan the pearl (tama) might be a sit'»/at ("god 
* if Amirittf BmIl IV, Scctj«Ml 7. * 



body '■); the soul of a god was a mi-tama^ which as mi 
was an ancient name for a dragon-serpent, meant 
*• dragon-pearl ”* 

There is, it must be frankly recognized, a rciprltahle 
resemblance between the metal symbolism of pre-Colum¬ 
bian America and that of the Old World. One 
of the Peruvian creation myths sets forth that at the 
beginning three eggs fell from the sky, one of gold, 
one of silver, and one of copper. From the gold egg 
was hatched the curacas or chiefs, from the silver egg 
the nobles, and from the copper egg the common people. 
This connection between metals and castes is found in 
India; it is found also in the Indian and Greek doctrines 
of the world's Ages, which refer to races identified with 
the Gold Age, the Silver Age, the Copper Age, and the 
Iron Age. 

In Mexico gold was given the same arbitrary connec¬ 
tion with the sun and silver with the moon, as obtained 
In ancient Egypt and in ancient Asian and European 
civilizations. Among the gifts sent by King Montezuma 
to Cortez were two wheels, the one of gold and the 
other of silver, “each one", according to Captain Andris 
de Tipla, the size of a cart wheel", “ Here ", wrote 

Francisco de Aguilar, “ they (the Spniards) were given 
a present of a golden sun among some weapons and 
a moon of silver." Another writer refers to them as 
“two round discs, one of fine gold, the other of fine 
silver, finely worked with beautiful figures ", This trea¬ 
sure was sent to Spain where it was seen by Oviedo who 
wrote of the great wheels, “ The one of gold they had in 
reference to the sun and that of silver in the memory 
of the moon",* 

n JMfn 


St is difficult to believe that the same complex ideas 
connected with gold, silver, and copper, should have had 
independent origin in the New and Old Worlds. The 
problevi involv^ is similar to that which presented itself 
to Mr.'Berthold Laufer in his scholarly work on jade,' 
when dealing with the problem as to how It happened 
that the peoples of ancient America, Europe, and New 
Zealand attached, like the Chinese, a religious value to 
jade (nephrite) and jadeite. Heinrich Fischer* believed, 
when he wrote on the subject, that jade did not occur 
ifi situ either in Europe or America, and elaborated the 
theory that the mineral, or the objects worked from it, 
had been carried to both continents in ancient times by 
migrating peoples from Asia. Jade ia litu was, however, 
subsequendy discovered in difi’erent parts of Europe and 
in Alaska. Fischer's hypothesis could not, therefore, be 
upheld, but it would appear that the critics who destroyed 
it destroyed too much. They overlooked the fact that 
in Europe jade is scarce and difficult to find. Modern 
scientists searched for it for many years before they were 
able to locate it. As Laufer says, **lt could not have 
been such an easy task for primitive man to hunt up 
these hidden places*", unless we conclude that he was 
** much keener or more resourceful than our present 
scientists”. The important aspect of the problem is 
not that early man in Europe succeeded in finding jade, 
but that he ever searched for it. Laufer writes in this 

^Nothing could induce tne to the belief ihat primitive man of 
Central Europe incidcnially and spontaneously embarked on the 

j Muitufis •of NilanL 

Afltliwpolefiial S^c*, dtinf?, 11- 

mkJ Ja/Wi i£dfi ikrn I4WW Mdfk tkrrt 

mmJ ftkm^grafkhc**# StsittEin, {iCMWd cdilklD)s 


laborious last of qitairyjng and working jade. The psychologica] 
motive for this act must be supplied, and it can be deduced onij 
from the source of historical facts. From the standpoint of the 
general development of culture in the Old World, there is 
absolutely no vestige of originality in the prehistoric cy^ures of 
Europe which appear as an appendix to Asia, Qriginitlir}' is 
certainly the rarest thing in this world, and in the history of man* 
kind the original thoughts are appallingly sparse. There is, in 
the light of historical facts and experiences, no reason to credit 
the prehistoric aird early historic populations of Europe with any 
^ntaneous ideas relative to jadej they received these, as every* 
thing else, from an outside source; they gradually learned to 
appreciate the value of this tough and compact substance, and then 
set to hunting for natural supplies.”^ 

In like manner the peoples of Europe and America 
searched for and found the peculiar day from which fine 
porcelain is made; but they did not do so until after 
it was discovered how the Chinese made use of it. 
‘‘The peoples of Europe and America", says Laufer, 
“could have made porcelain ages ago; the material was 
at their elbows, but the brutal fact remains that they 
did not, that they missed the opportunity, and that only 
the importation and investigation of Chinese porcelain 
were instrumental in hunting for and finding KaoUnic 

Was then, it may be asked, the search for jade or 
jadeite, and for gold, silver, pearls, and precious stones, in 
pre*Columbian America quite spontaneous and incidental? 
Are the Mexicans, Mayans, Peruvians, &c., to be credited 
with spontaneous ideas relative to those things, which were 
indentical, or almost identical, with the ideas prevailing 
and pre-existing in ancient Asia and Europe? Arc we to 
believe that certain religious conceptions—^which were pre¬ 
valent in Egypt, Babylonia, and Crete some twenty or 
‘ 7«<<* K’ ‘ iHd, |i. 4 . 







thirty centuries before the Christian era, and others that 
were rooted and fostered in China and northern Siberia 
in later times, before and after the dawn of Christianity—■ 
sprang up in America and flourished there as a matter of 
course a few centuries before the Spanish invasion ? 

The history of many complex beliefs that existed in 
pre-Columbian America cannot be traced there, but they 
can be traced elsewhere. Are we then to accept the 
theory that, despite their complexity, they must have 
been indigenous—that they were essentially the products 
of natural laws and "well-known mental processes"? 
"Great civilizations”, says a writer in this connection, 
"like those whose ruins remain in Peru, Mexico, Egypt, 
the Euphrates valley, India, and China . . , arose com¬ 
paratively locally, comparatively recently, and compara¬ 
tively suddenly. They seem to have been called forth 
by new conditions, and to mark a new phase in the 
history of the species.” ‘ The same view is taken by Sir 
James Frazer in dealing with ancient religious phenomena. 
He expresses the view that "recent researches into the 
early history of man have revealed the essential similarity 
with which, under many superficial differences, the human 
mind has elaborated its first crude philosophy of life”,* 
but he reminds us at the same time that ” hypotheses arc 
necessary but often temporary bridges built to connect 
isolated facts”, adding, “If my light bridges should sooner 
or later break down, or be superseded by more solid 
structures, 1 hope that my book may still have Its utility 
and its interest as a repertory of facts'*.* The Marr^uis 
de Naidatllac in his UAmiriquePrikhtoriqtte thinks it highly 
probable that the same beliefs in the New and Old World 
had independent origin. “From the nature of the human 

^ H. Cj. F. MAdtrm Af#M Hh 

* Tir (ifii fditiaii), VoL f, p. lo, * nix, xj. 



mind and the natural direction of its evolution follow," 
he writes, “very similar results up to a certain more or 
less advanced stage in all parts of the world- - - - Attention 
has frequently been called in the preceding pages to the 
similar manner in which similar needs were met, similar 
artistic ideas developed, and similar results obtained by 
people in widely separated parts of the globe.” He 
thinks these “ facts ” testify to “ the fundamental unity of 
the human race 

This theory, however, does not throw light on the 
arbitrary connection between metals and the heavenly 
bodies, and the fictitious value attached to gold and gems. 

Those writers here quoted, and others like them who 
favour the theory of the spontaneous generation of the 
same complex beliefs in various parts of the world, follow 
Dr. Robertson, the eighteenth century historian, who 
wrote in this connection: 

“Were we to trace back the ideas of other lunons to that rude 
state in which history first presents them to our view, we should 
discover a siirprising resemblance in their tenets and practices} and 
should be convinced that, in siiniinr circumstances, the faculties of 
the human mind hold merely the same course in their pro^css^ 
and arrive at almost the same conclusions”,^ 

The theory of independent origin is, however, after 
all a theory. It cannot be justified merely as the confession 
of a faith; it must be proved, and it cannot be proved 
merely by drawing analogies from biological evolution. 
Nor can it be proved by reference to the distinctive fauna 
of the New World, because wild animals do not build and 
navigate boats, erect monuments, invent systems of hiero 
glyphic writing or formulate religious systems. The 
association of man with wild animals has no connection 

^ EilglUb traculjiLMEi, JWiitafK 
» Tkt BiHik IV^ VI1. 



with the progress of dviitiatlon except m so far as he 
may utilize them for his own purposes. The pre-Col¬ 
umbian Americans were not a pastoral people. They 
did not have domesticated cows, sheep, or horses. Wild 
animals, however, played a prominent part in their reli¬ 
gious life, as did likewise reptiles and insects. American 
bees, scorpions, fish, frogs, snakes, lizards, crocodiles, 
turdes, herons, turkeys, vultures, eagles, owls, parrots, 
tapirs, armadillos, deer, hares, jaguars, pumas, coyotes, 
bears, dogs, bats, monkeys, &c., figure in their religious 
symbolism. If, however, it can be shown that the habits 
of a non-American animal have been transferred to an 
American animal in pre-Columbian mythology, the sus¬ 
picion is at once aroused that culture contact existed at 
one time or other between the Old and New Worlds, 
and, if it can be proved that an Old World animal has 
been depicted, espccidly in association with beliefs similar 
to those prevailing in any part of the Old World, the 
suspicion is transformed into a certainty and the theory of 
independent origin and development breaks down. 

In the next chapter it will be shown that the Indian 
elephant figures in the symbolism of the Maya civilization 
of Central America, and in the following chapter that the 
habits of the secretary-bird of Africa have been transferred 
In pre-Columbian mythology to the American eagle, and 
that the winged disk of Egypt, which was taken over and 
adjusted to local and national religious needs by the 
Assyrians, Persians, Phtenicians, and Polynesians, figures 
very prominently in the religious symbolism of pre- 
Columbian America. 


The Indian Elephant in American Art 

Tmccf of Rbtaoccrm, Elcph^int, &uJ Cuffle-l—Elepbanlv on 
Maya ]ndioil Elephant cM^nne‘cEcd wilh SeAiGcHl—Etephant and SnaEc 

God—Elephant and Dragon—The Ekphint of Ind™ — ElepkunE-heailed God 
^Buddha'i El^hani Eorm — Contrqvei^ rtg^niip^ Amcrkan Reprcaenia- 
tJorb of EEephani—^Tlve Macaw Theory — Mflcaw and SnaW^Hmdu Game 
in Mcii^o—Baddhiit Scene in Mexican Codex—The Cenifal American 
"Long-noKd God "—American ^Elephanr Mound" and Elephant Fipei". 

There is not the slightest ground”, wrote Bancroft in 
his great work/ **for supposing that the Mexicans or 
Peruvians were acquainted with an^ portion of the 
Hindoo mythology; but since their knowledge of even 
one species of animal peculiar to the Old Continent, and 
not found in America, would, if distinctly proved, furnish 
A convincing argument of a communication having taken 
place in former ages between the people of the two hemis¬ 
pheres, wc cannot but think that the likeness to the head 
of a rhinoceros, in the thirty-sixth pge of the Mexican 
painting preserved in the collection of Sir Thomas 
Bod ley; the hgure of a trunk resembling that of an 
elephant, in other Mexican paintings; and the fact, 
recorded by Simon, that what resembled the rib of a 
camel (la catilla^ tie utt came/lo) was kept for many ages 
as a relic, and held in great reverence^ in one of the 
provinces of Bogota, are deserving of attention.” 

^ ^ tA* Ftqft Smt* 9 / NrrA jlmfritAf <^7^ Vi4. 

p. + j, Noxe 9a. 



Ff zm ^ hf jfffrrJ P, Aiamjuajf^ 



The American writer and explorer, Mr. John L. 
Stephens, who, accompanied by Mr, Catherwood, an 
accomplished artist, visited the ruins of Maya civilization 
in Central America in the middle of last century, de¬ 
tected the elephant on a sculptured pillar at Copan, 
which he referred to as an " idol”. “The front view ", 
he wrote, “seems a portrait, probably of some deified 
king or hero. The two ornaments at the top appear 
like the trunk of an elephant, an animal unknown in that 
country.” ‘ A reproduction of one of the ornaments 
in question should leave no doubt as to the identity of 
the animal depicted by the ancient American sculptor. 
It is not only an elephant, but an Indian elephant 
{Etcphut JndUus\ a species found in India, Ceylon, 
Borneo, and Sumatra. The African elephant {Elepfta. 
Afrimnus) has larger ears, a less elevated head, and 
a bulging forehead without the indentation at the root 
of the trunk which is a characteristic of the Indian 
species. The African elephant has in the past been 
less made use of by man than the Indian, and has 
consequently not figured prominently in African religious 
life. In India the elephant was tamed during the Vedic 
period. It was called at first by the Aiyo-Indians “the 
beast having a hand ”, and ultimately simply Hauin 
(“having a hand**). An elephant keeper was called 
Hastipa, Another name was VSrana^ in which the root 
vsr signifies water, as in the name of the sea god Varuna, 
Another name was (“great snake”),* The 

elephant was thus connected with the n3^a or snake 
deities which are mentioned in the Sutras, N^gas were 

' J, L. Str^hroi, tmtiJnD ^ Tr4«f in Cmrti CAitfm ni riKtHw, 

1 ^ 4 ^ V-dI. V p. 

nnA Kejii* PsJit Vol, 1* p. +4*^ uni 

Vol. II, pp. m 104 SOI* PtMt MjiAtfhgjft f- 



rain gods; they were wholly dependent on the presence 
of water and much afraid of fire, just like the dragons in 
many Chinese and Japanese legends. . * . The Indian 
serpent-shaped says De Visser, from whom I 

quote, ^'was identified in China with the four-legged 
Chinese dragon, because both were divine inhabitants 
of seas and rivers, and givers of rain. It is no wonder 
that the Japanese in this blending of Chinese and Endian 
Ideas recognized their own serpent, or dragon-shaped 
gods of rivers and mountains, to whom they used to 
pray for rain in times of drought. Thus the ancient 
legends of three countries were combined, and features 
of the one were used to adorn the other.The Nagas 
were guardians of treasure and especially of pearls. They 
were taken over by the northern Buddhists, and northern 
Buddhism “adopted the gods of the countries where it 
Introduced itself, and made them protectors of its doctrine 
Instead of its antagonists'*.^ 

The elephant was in Vedic times connected with 
the god Indra, who slew the drought demon, the serpent¬ 
shaped dragon Vritra, which caused the drought by 
confining the water supply in its coiled body. India 
rode on the elephant's back. In the Maya representation 
of the elephant are the figures of two men, one of whom 
is riding on its back while the other is grasping its head. 
Apparently the sculptor had never seen an elephant and 
had used as a model a manuscript picture or a carving irt 
wood or ivory. That his elephant had, however, a 
religious significance there appears to be little doubt. 

In India the connection between the N^ga and 
elephant was not merely a philological one* There was 
a blending of cults; NSgas and elephants were associated 

^ Dr. M. W. Dc Vliicr, ri# Dtagtm im CJAu 0k4 iiBj 

P^ 1- 7 , *3- 


3 * 

with the god Varuna, whose vehicle was the 
3 . “wonder beast’* of composite form like the Babylonian 
dragon and the “ goat-fish '* forni of Ea, god of the deep. 
The mal^ara like the naga contributed to the complex 
dragons of China and Japan, 

A later Indian form of Indra was the elephant-headed 
god Ganesha, the son of the god Shiva and Parvati. A 
Brahmatiic legend was invented to connect the young god 
with the ancient Vedic rain-bringcr who slew the water- 
confining serpent-dragon Vrltra, In one of the Puranas 
it is told that Ganesha oflfcndcd the planet Saturn who 
decapitated him. The god Vishnu came to the child- 
god's aid, and provided him with a new head by cutting 
off the head of Indra's elephant. At a later period 
Ganesha lost one of his tusks as a result of a confiict 
with a Deva-rishi, Ganesha was, in consequence, re¬ 
presented with one whole and one broken tuskd 

The Buddhists not only took over the “wonder 
beasts " with elephant and other parts and characteristics, 
but also adopted the white elephant, which was an 
emblem of the sun. According to one of their legends, 
Buddha entered his mother’s womb in the form of a 
white elephant. This idea “seems”, as Dr, T. W, 
Rhys Davis says, “a most grotesque folly, until the 
origin of the poetical figure has been . . . ascertained ”. 
The solar-elephant form “ was deliberately chosen by the 
future Buddha, because it was the form indicated by 
a dWiJ Cgod) who had in a previous birth been one of the 
Rishis, the mythical poets of the Rig Veda”,* Rishis 
were learned priests who became deml-gods by perform¬ 
ing religious ceremonies. 

1 Imdkn AJjf* Utait pp- *« lik* minwr ih* EffgiUui fnl Harui 

ttuii -aff tht hud 0^ liM ifl'hidb. Thcrth reptift* with ibc of ■ soWi 

’ Rhjt Dwtiiy I fOjX f- ^ 4®^ 


It will thus be seen that before the elephant, as a 
rcliffious symbol, was carried from India to other 
countries. It was associated with complex beliefs as a 
result of Indian culture mixing. The history of the 
Mara dephant symbol cannot be traced m the New 
World. The view of Dr. W. StempdB that the Copan 
and other elephants of America represent the early P^is- 
tocenc Ekphas cdumbi has not met with accepuucc, Ihis 
elephant has not the peculiar characteristics of the Indian 
elephant as shown in the Copan stone, and it became 
extinct before the earliest representatives of modern man 

reached the New World,, - ■ i. 

Although, however, Dr. W, Stempdl, reviewing the 
literature concerning the various representations of the 
elephant in pre-Columbian America, ‘‘vigorously pr^ 
tested against the Idea that they were intended to be 
anything else than elephants”, certain Amerl^ists have 
laboured to prove that they are either badly-drawn birds 
or tapirs. The Copan elephant, associated with the two 
human figures, has been identified with the blue maaw 
(see plate opposite) by Dr, Alfred M. Tozzer and Ur. 
Glover M. Allen * In their reproduction of the Copan 
elephant, the one with human figures is not selected. 

“There has hitherto", write Tozzer and^ Allen, 
“been some question as to the Identity of certain stone 
carvings, similar to that on Stela B from Copan of which 
a portion is shown in Plate 2 . 5 , fig. 8. This has even 
been interpreted as the trunk of an dephant, but is un¬ 
questionably a macaw's beak." The unprejudiced 
will not he indined to regard the macaw theory as finally 

XNrtatt (" Pft.Cai™WiMi SUpreKntJlioB* of the EkphoOt JO America ), 

«rir CaJifu {Pe^ri of the PoahoJ/ Muicoi^f Anl^cio 

MnA &tluioW|yt HimrJ Unhcrtjlj^p VaI* IV, No-1% ^ 'i 

Fcbnfuy, V* J43' 



settledj even although it finds support among not a few 
Americanists^ and especially those determined to uphold 
**the ethnological ^Monroe Doctrine' which”, as Pro¬ 
fessor Elliot Smith has written,^ demands that every¬ 
thing American belongs to America^ and must have been 
wholly invented there”. 

This extract is from a letter contributed lo Na/uftt iti 
which the various pre-Columbian representations have 
been discussed by Professor Elliot Smith, Professor 
Tozzer, and Dr- Spinden The first named holds that 
the Copan animals under discussion arc Indian elephants. 
“ Never having seen an elephant and not being aware of 
Its size, no doubt”, he says, “the Maya artist conceived 
it to be some kind of monstrous macaw; and his portraits 
of the two creatures mutually influenced one another/' 
He points out, however, that in one of the figures the 
so-called macaw is given a mammalian ear fron^ which 
an ear-ring is suspended, a characteristic Cambodian 

Professor Tozzer draws attention to the artistic treat'- 
ment of both the macaw and elephant figures. In the 
“elephant” head “there is an ornamental scroll beneath 
the eye, which likewise is cross-hatched and surrounded 
by a ring of subcircular marks that continue to the base 
of the beak. The nostril is the large oval marking 
directly in front of the eye.” He holds that a com¬ 
parison of this “ elephant "with that of the unmistakable 
macaw “shows that the two represent the same animal”. 
Professor Elliot Smith writes on this point; 

**ThLS suggestion hits served m direct attention to points of 
special inttresc and importance, vix* the stTiking influence exercised 
by the representatives of a well-known creature, the macaw, on 
the craTtsmen who were set the task of modelling the elephani 

* NMxrt, MaftinlMr t;, ifif) biainb« li, lfij{ J.iuu>7 ..7), 

(irttlf 4 



which to chem was an aliEn and wholly unknown animal. It 
explains how, in the case of the latter, the sculptor came to 
misuke the eye for the nostril and the audkdry meatus for the 
eye, and abo to employ a particular g;eometrica1 design for filling 
in the area of the auditory pinna. ^ , The accurate representa¬ 

tion of the Indian elephant's profile, its trunk, tusk, and lower lip, 
the form of its ear, as well as the turlmied rider and hb implement, 
no less than the distinctively Hindu artistic feeling in the model¬ 
ling are entirely fatal to the macaw hypothests/'^ 

Professor Elliot Smith points out further that the scroll” 
of which so much has been made was not borrowed from 
the macaw for the elephant, but from the elephant for 
the macaw. 

^^Thc scralL was an essential part qf the elrphant-design before 
it left Asia, suid, in fact, is found in conventionalized drawings of 
the elephant in the World from Cambodia to Scotland 

Dr. Eduiird Scleras view la that the objects under 
discussion are tortoises. Others have favoured the tapir. 
Dr. Spinden writes in the same connection: 

“ That the heads with projecting snouts used as architectural 
decoration are connected with the concept of the snake mihcr than 
the elephant b easily proven by a study of homolcigoiis parts in 
a series of dcsigns.^^ 

As has been shown the elephant and the “naga"' 
(snake) cults and cult objects were fused in India. It 
should not surprise us therefore to find suggestions of 
Naga-clcphants in America, especially as other traces of 
Indian influence can be detected. As Chinese ethnological 
data prove, the cultural influence of India extended over 
wide areas as a result of Brahmanic and Buddhist mis¬ 
sionary enterprise, just as Babylonian and Iranian influence 
flowed into India itself. Sir Edward Tylor has shown ^ 



that the pre-Columbian Mexicans acquired the Hindu 
game called pathisi, and that In their picture writing 
(Vatican Codex) there Is a series of scenes taken from 
Japanese Buddhist temple scrolls/ “If”, comments Pro¬ 
fessor Elliot Smith in this connection, ** it has been 
possible for complicated games and a series of strange 
beliefs (and elaborate pictorial illustrations of them) to 
make their wajt to the other side of the Pacific, the much 
simpler design of an elephant's head could also have been 
transferred from India or the Far East to America." 

The Maya “long-nosed god” is regarded by those 
who favour the hypothesis of direct or indirect Indian 
cultural influence in America as a form of the Indian 
elephant-headed god Ganesha, referred to above. This 
aspect of the problem will be dealt with in connection 
with the Aztec rain god Tlaloc. 

Other traces of the elephant usually inefcrred to are 
afibrded by the “elephant mound” of Wisconsin and the 
“elephant pipes” of Iowa, It is held by Tozzer and 
others that the former is a bear, or some other local 
animal, and that the “trunk” does not belong to the 
original earthwork, and that the latter are “forgeries”. 
The alleged maker of these forgeries must have been a 
very remarkable man indeed—“the most remarkable 
archaeologist”, says Professor Elliot Smith, ^'America has 
yet produced 

In the next chapter, it will be shown that even the 
culture influence of North Africa reached pre-Columbian 
America after drifting through various intervening areas. 

I Rifwrif 1^9^ f. 774- 


Symbols with a History 

Bird acd ScrpcDt Mjihi it* Old and New Worhll — TfioDcy cflDdfprn 
dcni Orifiid^ProFtsscr W. Kcibertwn'i Stnfificail&n Theory—Mental Habiti 
ef Early Miti— “Piychic Onliy** and Instlnct^Kabenion'i ¥icw adoptei,! by 
MilJerp —Brinion on Amerieati Sytnboliim— The 

•^Feathered Serpem" — Origin of Bin! and Set^peni Coinbat^Homcric Veftloa 
—The Altec Myth—Indian Garudu {Eagle*] and; Nagu (Scrpeatii— Widc- 
*|trrad DmgonjTpcc^ and Well Mylhi—Japanetc Tetigu arid Eiephaot-headed 
G^j^Xhunder Bird* and Thunder Dogr^ American “ Long'Hoaed ^ God— 
fiirdi and Elephants a* Thunder God* —Medcan Cactui u Tree of Ufb— 
S^mbqllitn of Mexican Coai of Aimi — Jeweb^pitting Godi in India and 
AmenCa — ^Tlic EtPerbiitng Combai—Origin of Water-conJSnlng' Serpent. 

Im his treatise on the symbolism and mythology of the 
“red race" of Ameiica,^ Professor Daniel G. Brinton 
deals at length with the symbols of the “ Bird and Ser¬ 
pent", and shows that these are as prominent in the 
mythologies of the New World as in the mythologies of 
Asia and Europe. This fact docs not surprise him,or even 
arouse a suspicion that the associated beliefs of complex 
character may have been due to culture contact or culture 
drifting in ancient times. His book reveals him as a 
believer in the spontaneous generation of similar religious 
ideas and similar symbols among different peoples in 
different parts of the world. He and certain other 
Americamsts hold that "there is", as Dr. Eduard Sclcr 
puts it, " in all parts of the world a certain fundamental 
uniformity in religious ideas, still more in religious 

* Tit Mjih ^ f*t {jrf cdilJiKn]^ pp. i» 


pmcticcs, in spite of a wide difference in the details "V 
Here we meet with the theory of the “psychic unity of 

This fashion of thinking'—for there are fashions in 
thinking as in other things—became prevalent in this 
country during the late Victorian epoch. It was first 
Introduced, however, by Professor WiHiam Robertson 
of the Edinburgh University, the eighteenth century 
historian, whose ethnological speculations in his TAe 
qf Ammca (1:777) have strongly influenced later 
investigators in the same field of research. 

Robertson advocated his theory of independent origin 
with certain qualifications^ He held, for instance, 
that some peoples were capable of developing more 
exalted ideas than others, although he did not inquire 
into the reasons for their superior capabilities and attain¬ 
ments i and expressed the belief that, even among the 
most enlightened and civilized nations, the religious 
opinions of persons in the inferior ranks of life are, 
and ever have been, ** derived from instruction, not 
discovered by inquiry 

Robertson was likewise the pioneer of the stratifi¬ 
cation theory which he advocated long before Darwinism 
was heard of, and the habit becanne prevalent among 
ethnologists of drawing analogies from biological evolu¬ 
tion. He rec<^ni2cd a primary stage in human de¬ 
velopment—^*thc early and most rude periods of savage 
life*’—regarding which he wrote as follows 1 

“That numerous part of the human species, whose lot is 
labour, whose principal and aimosc sofc occupation is to sreure 
subsEstence, views the arrangements and apcratiDns of nature with 
little reflection, and has neither leisure nor tapaetty for entering 

1 MMjt CrwiTw^ AM/rifjut mlttiffwiin (Surriu cf AmirFiaMi EtltDol'Ofji. 

Bulkun i%}f Wuhifl^«i| p. 175. 


into p^lh of refined and ifitrirate ^calailon wl^ich condacts 
to the knowledge of tlic principles of natural religion. When the 
intellectiuil powers are just beginning to unfold, and their first 
feeble exertions are directed towards a few objects of primary 
necessity and use; when the faculties of the mind me so limited^ 
as not to have formed abstract or general ideas; wben langxiage is 
so barren, as to be destitute of naines to dEStinguish anything that 
s not perceived by some of the senses; it is preposterous lo expect 
that man should be capable of tracing with accuracy the relation 
between cause and effect; or to suppose that he should rise from 
the contemplation of the one to the knowledge of the other, and 
form just conceptions of a deity, as the Creator and the Governor 
of the Universe^ The idea of creation is so familiar wherever the 
mind is enlarged by science, and illuminated by revelation, that 
we seldom reflect how profound and obtruse this idea Is, or con¬ 
sider what progress man must have made In observation and 
research, before he could arrive at any knowledge of this ele¬ 
mentary principle in religian.” 

Robertson’s view of early man is, so far, remarkably like 
that of Professor G. Elliot Smith, who has written t 

*^ Thc modern fallacy of supposing that be (early man) spent 
his time in contemplation of the world around him, speculating 
upon the nature of the stars above him, or devising theories of the 
soul, is probably as far from the truth as it would be to assume 
[hat the modern Englishman h absorbed in the prablema of 
zoology I astronomy, and metaphysics, , , , What the ethnologist 
usually fails to recognize is that among primitive men, as amongst 
modern scholars, before attempting to Solve a problem, it is 
■essenlial to recognize that there is a problem to solvc.'^^ 

Elliot Smith holds further that; 

“ The germs of civilizditon were planted when man^s attention 
first became fixed upon specific problems, which he was able to 
leal with in an experimental manner, and, in co-operation with 
other men, to solve in a way more or less satisfying to him and his 

* Ftimint/t jS ff Iff. 


contctnporaiies^ and to hand on hii solutions of them to those who 
came aftcT them. Once this process began, a new era in the 
manifestation of the human spirit was inauguiuted.*’ 

He emphasizes the ‘^artificial character” and “the arbit¬ 
rary nature" of the composition of the constituent 
elements of early civilizatiorii “ It bears the Impress of 
its wholly accidental origin: it h equally alien to the 
instinctive tendencies of human beings.” 

Robertson accounted for the origin of progress in 
early religious thought by assuming that the human 
mind is “formed for religion”, but lie throws no light 
on the important problem as to why some people 
achieve more rapid progress than others—why some 
groups of people were “enlightened" while others remained 
in an “unenlightened” state, despite the fact that their 
minds were similarly “formed". He does no more 
than refer to the existence of the two well-defined groups 
of human beings^ and proceeds to say that among un¬ 
enlightened nations “ the first rites and practices which 
bear any resemblance to acts of religion have it for their 
object to avert evils which men suffer or dread”. Other 
peoples with more “ enlarged " systems of thought had 
formed “ some conception of benevolent beings as well as 
of malicious powers prone to inflict evil”. But, although 
some people might not have arisen to the conception of a 
“Great Spirit”, all peoples, and especially in America, 
were more united with regard to the doctrine of im¬ 

“The human mtiu), even when least improved and invigorated 
by culture, shrinks from the thought of annihilation, and looks 
furward with hope and expectation to a state of future existence. 
This sentiment, resulting from a sacred consciousncis of its own 
dignity, from an instinctive longing after immortality, U universal 
attii ffiaj ditmtd ffdfuru//* 



Robertson’s view regarding instinct Is frankly adopted 
by Brinton, who has written : 

“ The universal belief in the sacredness of numbers is an 
instinctive perception of a fundainentid fact^ a recognition by the 
intellect of the method of its own action.”* 

Other modern “evolutionary” ethnologists indignantly 
protest”, however, If ”, as Elliot Smith says, “a critic 
Insists that the working of their brand of ^psychic unity' 
is indistinguishable from what the psychologist calls 
instinct Even those writers, however, who reject 
Robertson’s theorj' regarding Instinct, adopt his term 
"natural”, and repeatedly apply it to the most complex 
religious phenomena. 

The following passage from Robertson’s The Nisiory 
of yimeric^i which sums up his view of ancient men, is of 
undoubted importance in the history of ethnological 

“Inattentive to that magnificcrit spectacle of beauty and order 
presented to their view, unaccustomed to reflect cither upon what 
they tlienascli-cs are, or to inquire who is the author of their exis¬ 
tence, men, in their savage state, pass their days like the animals 
round them, withont knowledge or veneration of anv superior 

Hugh Miller in his Sce»es and Legettdi* published 
fifty-eight years after Robertson’s history made its appear¬ 
ance, applied the theory of spontaneous generation to 
folk-stories and flint-working, and wrote, remembering 
his Robertson: 

“ The most practised eye can hardly distinguish between the 

1 fAr p, 11 ^ 

■ Mjn^ {fiflcu iht FrmdiMgi ^ Vfti* VltVp 

LoniUii, 1517, 7, 34, See October IJ* th, GDtifniwcpieff'i Icster^ 


weapons of the old Scot and the New Zeatandcr. . . * Man in 
a sai'agc state is the same animal everywhere^ and his constructive 
powers, whether employed in the formation of a legendary story 
or of a battle-axe^ seem to expatiate almost cvcr)'wherc in the 
same rugged track of invention. For even the traditions of this 
first stage may be identified| like its weapons of war, all the world 

Dr, Daniel Wilson, writing twenty-eight years after 
Miller,^ followed him doscly in the following extract 
from his ^'Annah'V; 

A singular unity of character pervades the primitive arts ol 
man, however widely separated alike by space and time* Placed 
under the same conditions, the first efforts of his meclianicat 
in&tinct everywhere exhibit similar results. The ancient Stone 
Period of Assyria and Egypt resembles that of Its European 
successor, and that again finds a nearly complete parallel among 
the primitive remains of the valley of the Mississippi and in the 
modern arts of the barbarous Polynesian/* 

Andrew Lang, in 1884, revived, in his Cu^iom and 
MpA (pp. 24-27), the same theory, remembering what 
Hugh Miller, the Cromarty stone-mason geologist, a 
self-educated man, had written under the influence of 

We may plausibly account for the similsricy of myths, as we 
accounted for the similarity of flint arrow-beads. The myths, 
like the arrow-heads, resemble each other because they were 
originally framed to meet the same needs out of the same material. 
In the Case of the at row-heads, the need was for something bard, 
heavy, and sharp—the materia] was flint. In the case of the 
myths, the need was to explain certain phenomena—the material 
(so to speak) was an early state of the human mind, to which all 
objects seemed equally endowed with human personality, and to 
which no metamorphosis appeared impossible**’ 

1 ^Scitltmdj Lsiuliofa, x t 6 ‘^ 3J7« 


Early man required implements. That he felt the same 
need for complex stories about birds and serpents and for 
connecting these with ”certain phenomena” is very 
doubtful. He could not have been much concerned 
about the supply of rain before he domesticated cattle, 
and it is improbable that beliefs regarding the sun god 
and the rain and river god became stereotyped before the 
introduction of the agricultural mode of life. A con¬ 
siderable advance in civilimion must have been achieved 
before the organization of society was rejected in reli¬ 
gious systems, and man became capable “of tracing with 
accuracy as Robertson put it, “the relation between 
cause and effect 

These extracts which have been given from the writ¬ 
ings of Lang, Wilson, and Miller, arc of special interest, 
because they show that the theory of independent origin 
has a definite history. Robertson introduced a formula 
which has provided a plausible and easy explanation for 
a very complex problem. It accounts for the numerous 
resemblances, but not for the numerous diflFerences be¬ 
tween the myths, symbols, and religious beliefs and 
customs of various ancient civilizations. Although it has 
helped to promote the comparative study of religious 
systems, it has, however, at the same time diverted atten¬ 
tion from the process of culture drifting and of the fusions 
in various culture areas of imported ideas with those ol 
local growth, reflecting local experiences. 

Robertson’s formula has been rigorously applied in 
America. His term “natural” is repeated again and 
again by writers who find themselves confronted with 
even the most complex religious phenomena. To Brin- 
ton it is “ natural that the bird and serpent symbols 
should have been linked in the pre-Columbian American 
mythologles,and he displays so much ingenuity in account- 



ing For the various Tnanife^tations of the winged animal 
and reptile and for their arbitrary association, that one 
cannot help feeling that the early Red man ttiust have 
been possessed of as subtle and resourceful a mind as 
himself. Brinton,^ putting himself in the place of the 
early observers and thinkers, proceeds to say that the 
bird *' floats in the atmosphere", “ rides on the winds " 
and "soars towards heaven where dwell the gads". 
Early man conceived that " gods and angels must also 
have wings”, an assumption which postulates the theory 
that he believed in gods and angels from the beginning. 
The bird was identified with the clouds, and it is " natu¬ 
ral" therefore that thunder should have been regarded as 
" the sound of the cloud-bird flapping his wings”. 

Brin ton then deals with the serpent- This reptile is 
“mysterious”. We should not wonder therefore that 
“it possessed the fancy of the observant child of nature” 
whom Robertson has apparently slandered by asserting 
that he was “ inattentive to that magnificent spectacle of 
beauty and order presented to his view Brinton shows 
that early man saw serpents in the heavens and on the 
earth, and docs not deal with the possibility that he may 
have deified the real serpent before he conceived of 
mythical ones. Lightning wriggles; so do serpents; 
therefore, argued early man, lightning is a serpent. The 
river has a “ sinuous course it is “serpentine" How 
easily", comments Brinton, "would savages, construing 
the figure literally, make the serpent a river or water 
god I ” The serpent was certainly connected with water, 
but is Brinton's theory of how the connecuon was cfTected 
a Very plausible one ? It obtained in the Old "World as 
well as in the New, That does not surprise him, nor is 
he surprised to find that in pre-Columbian America the 

*■ TJU lUjtit itnr fyawtd, ff. UJ *r vf. 



serpent was depicted in religious sj'mbo'ltsm “ with its tail 
in its mouth} eating itself”, like the Scandinavian Midgard 
serpent and other mythical serpents In other culture areas. 
Among othernatural" conceptions, according to Brinton, 
is that of the American "homed serpent”, which is found 
among the ancient Celtic symbols of Gaul and reminds us 
of the horned serpent-dragons of China and Japan, the 
horned dragon of Babylonia, &c. The American hero 
who slays the horned serpent as Marduk, and St. George, 
and others slew the serpentine dragon, is a god, and this 
god was, Brinton explains, indentified with the " Thunder 
Bird”. It was “natural” therefore, he reasons, that the 
serpent god and the bird god, as gods of rain, rivers, and 
lightning, should have been closely associated, and that 
early man in America should have evolved the idea of 
a serpent bird or bird serpent and deitted this monstrosity 
as Quetzalcoatl, the “Feather Serpent”, so as to “express 
atmospheric phenomena" and recogniac “divinity in natu¬ 
ral occurrences". In other words the pre-Columbian 
American genius, in his process of thinking, passed from 
the abstract to the concrete and not from the concrete to 
the abstract like the Chinese and other lesser breeds in 
the Old World. 

Despite the ingenuity and easy assurance of Brinton 
and of other theorists, it is possible that, as the hypothesis 
of independent origin has a history, the complex ideas 
about birds and serpents in pre-Columbian America may 
have had a history too. Those who remain unconvinced 
that the arbitrary association of birds and serpents, and of 
both with atmospheric phenomena, in the mythologies 
of the New and Old Worlds should be regarded as 
natural”, will maintain an open mind on the subject 
and refuse to be caught in the glamour of a plausible 
theory which accounts for lar too much. It is frankly 


unconceivable that early man should have connected 
serpents and birds without a single hint from nature. 
If we find that nature has in one part of the world 
provided the plot for the mythological drama of the 
everlasting battle between bird and serpent, it is not 
surprising to learn that the combat should have been 
introduced into a local or neighbouring pre-existing my¬ 
thological system, which reflected not only natural 
phenomena but even local political conditions. On the 
other hand it cannot be regarded as other than astounding 
to find in an area where no serpent-hunting bird exists 
that such a bird should have been imagined, and that this 
imaginary bird should have been utilized in precisely the 
same way as in the area where the real bird has actual 
existence. It is just as remarkable to find in pre- 
Columbian mythological systems the bird and serpent 
symbols as it is to find the Indian elephant represented 
on a Maya stela. 

There is only one bird in the world which is a per¬ 
sistent and successful hunter of serpents. This is the 
well-known secretary-bird {Serpeniarius itcretariui) of 
Africa, “In general appearance", writes a naturalist, 
“it looks like a modified eagle mounted on stilts, and 
may exceed four feet in height." It is heavy and power* 
fill, with webbed feet and sharp talons, Verrwux gives 
the following interesting description of the bird and of 
its method of attacking snakes: 

As nature exhibits foresight in all she docs, she has given to 
each animal its means of preservation. Thus the Secretary Bird 
has been modelled on a plan appropriate to its mode of life, and it 
is therefore for this purpose that, owing to the length of its legs 
and tarsi, its piercing eye is able to discover at a long distance the 
prey which, in anticipation of its appearance, is stretched on the 
s.uid or among the thick grass. The elegtmt and majestic form of 



the bird becomes ngw even more graceful; it now brings into 
action aJMts cunning in order to surprise the snake whieb k is 
going to attack; therefore it approaches with the greatest caution. 
The election of the feathers of the neck and the back of the head 
shows when the moment for attack has arrived. It throws itself 
with such force on the reptile that very often the latter docs not 
survive the first blow." 

To avoid being bitten the bird, if the first attack is not 
successful, uses its wings as a kind of shield, flapping 
them vigorously; its powerful feet are "the chief weapons 
of ofFeiice'U No other bird has been so well equipped 
by nature for battling with snakes. Eagles and vulcans 
may have powerful talons and beaks, but they do not 
possess the long legs of the secretary-bird, which are 
absolutely necessary to ensure success when a serpent is 

Stories regarding this strange bird appear to have 
been prevalent in Ancient Egypt. The priests and sea¬ 
men who visited Punt no doubt became familiar with its 
habits. It may well be that the secretary-bird suggested 
that form of the Horus myth in which the god as the 
falcon hawk attacks the serpent form of Set, the slayer of 
Osiris. The Set serpent took refuge in a hole In the 
ground, and above this hole was set a pole surmounted 
by the falcon head of Horus.* 

The myth of the African serpent-slaying bird became 
widespread in the course of time. In Egypt the bird was 
identified with the hawk, and elsewhere it was supposed 
to be an eagle. An interesting reference to this myth is 
found in the Iliad, When the Trojans were attempting to 
reach the ships of their enemies and still stood outside the 
fosse, they beheld an eagle flying high above their heads. 

1 Tkt Hst^j dj Adidtdh (Creibim fubliaUtao]!, II 46-?+ 

^ Bf]<d£c, Tkt CftJj rAf VbL 4 ix. 



its taJoiis it bor^ u. blood-rid DtonstrDus aJive and 

struggling still; y^j not yet had it forgotccn the joy of barele, but 
writhed backward and smote the bird that held it on the bresut, 
beside the neck, and the bird cast it from him down to the earth 
in sore pain, and dropped (t in the midst of the throng; then with 
a cry sped away down the gust of the wind. And the Trojafii 
shuddered when they saw ihe gleaming snake lying in the midst 
of them i an omen of *gis-bcaring Zeus.”' 

Polydamas regarded this omen as unfavourable and ad¬ 
vised Hector, but in vain, not to continue the attack, 
believing that the Achaan snake would turn on ajid 
wound the Trojan eagle* 

This eagle-serpent myth reached the New World, 
It is connected with the founding of the city of Mexico* 
The Aztecs had been wandering for many years and had 
reached the south-western border of a great lake in 
A*D* 13251 

^*Thcy there beheld, perched on the stem of a prickly pear, 
which shot out from the crevice of a rock that was washed by the 
waves, a royal eagle of extraordinary size and beauty, with a 
serpent m hb talons, and his broad wiiig^ opened to tlie risttig 
sun. They liailcd the auspicious omen announced by the oracle, 
as indicating the site of itieir future city, and laid its fcundatloris 
by sinking piles into the shallows; for the low marshes were half- 
buried under water. . . . The place was called Tenpchtitlan,* 
in token of its miraculDus origin, though only known to Europeans 
by its other name of Mexico^ * * * The legend of its foundation 
h still further commemorated by the device of the eagle and the 
cactus which forms the anus of the niodern Mexican republic.”* 

In Indian mythology tlie serpent-slaying bird is the 
Garuda* This monster, which does not resemble any 
eagle found in India, is the vehicle of the god Vishnu. 

I tiiaJj BqoSl Xn; truiktcil hy ^0^ hlfcn, [fp, 

*Tbc ause (e on 1 

■ rff Cmpnur ^ VtHU l| Ckiftcf L 



The Garuda became the enemy of the snakes (nSgas) 
because his mother^ Vinstn, had been captured and en¬ 
slaved by KadfEl, the mother of the Nagas, Having 
enabled Indra to rob from the snakes the nectar of 
immortality, he is offered a boon, and he promptly asks 
Vishnu that the snakes should become his food. There¬ 
after Garuda swooped down and began to devour the 
snakes, Vasuki, King of the Njigas, ultimately agreed 
to send daily to Garuda one snake to eat. Garuda 
consented, and began to eat every day one snake sent by 
him (Vasuki)”^ 

Nagas had three forms, viz, (i) fully human with 
snakes on their heads and emerging from their necks; 
( 2 ) common serpents that guard treasure; and ( 3 ) with 
tlie upper half of the body of human shape and the lower 
prt entirely snake-like. Garuda, or the Garudas, attacked 
NSgas in each form they assumed. De Visser, dealing 
with NSgas in Indian Buddhist art, refers to a relief in 

*‘a Garuda in ihe shape of an enormous eagle is Hying upwards 
with a Nagi (NSga woman) in his claws, and biting the long 
snake which comes out of the woman’s neck’*,* 

The NSgas had their abodes “ at the bottom of the sea 
or in rivers or lakes. When leaving the NSga world 
they are in constant danger of being grasped and killed 
by the gigantic semi-divine birds, the Garudas, which 
also change themselves into men. Buddhism has, in 
its usual way, declared both N3gas and Garudas mighty 
figures of the Hindu world of gods and demons to 
be obedient servants of the Buddhas, Bodhlsattvas, and 
saints, and to have an open ear for their teachings.’^ 
On those they frvoured the Nagas bestowed “super- 

1 la TAm in CI/h md F h p, 7* 


(l.i Vcrjiuiil, Mitiruitl} 

Itt thr nsautlt ii n( ri!n.,oJ d.K Thr ipni> rfrrorni •ixr,, 

on ihc lutk it lln *• }*«t 

f rcK a piing/jpi Atfni f, 



natural vision and hearing "V Heroes and holy men 
were received in their dwellings as guests. The NElgas 
were “gods of clouds and rain^V **When'\ says a 
Buddhist te?£tj“the great Nlga causes the rain to fall| 
the ocean alone can receive the latter." Another char¬ 
acteristic text connects the N^lgas with dew J '^whcti on 
the mountains and valleys the Heavenly Dragona (the 
Nagas) cause the sweet dew to descend, this changes 
into bubbling fire and spouts upon our bodies".® A 
legend connecting a NSga with a sacred tree is of special 
inter^t* Anyone who took a branch or leaf from the 
tree was killed by the Niiga* The cutting of the tree, 
even the taking of a single leaf, brought clouds and 
caused thunder, manifestations of the Naga’s wrath. A 
great Naga klng^ named Paravatiksha, had his dwelling 
under a lake which was overshadowed by a solitary 
ashoka tree. He possessed **a matchless sword from 
the war of the gods and the Asuras (demons) ", and 
caused earthquakes and sent clouds. When he appeared 
he resembled “ the dense cloud of the day of doom 
in his snake form he came “with flaming eyes, roaring 
horriblyDe Visser's view is that “ this is probably 
thunder and lightning’'/ A Chinese Buddhist text, from 
a work in which the connection between Nagas and 
dragons is shown to be intimatei sets forth that there 
arc five sorts of dragons : (i) serpent’dragons; (2) lizard- 
dragons; (3) fish-drugons; (4) elephant-dragons; (5) 

In Indianj Chinese, and Japanese stories the Nlga or 
dragon dwells in a pool beneath a tree. The tree grows 
on an island in a lake, or in the ocean. These lake 
islands, with sacred trees and wells, are cominon in Gaelic 

* Quoted in Drtgiw m *kJ p- S- ' p. it 

* /AfJ, ff. I^-J. * 17-i- ■ P* * 




folk-lore. An inland in Loch Maree has a wishing tree 
and curative well j once a year the feiries assemble on the 
island. A lake island was associated with the American 
jewel goddess Chalchiuhtlicue (see Chapter Xll). 

The well-known Gaelic legend of Fraoch resembles 
closely the Buddhist legend of PirSvataksha. A holly 
tree grows above a pool in which there is a dragon-like 
monster; this monster attacks anyone who plucks berries 
from the tree. In Gaelic lore the holly berries renew 
youth, promote longevity, and are the source of super¬ 
natural knowledge. The berries contain the “life sub¬ 
stance ” of the tree-guardian which reposes in the wcD. 
This guardian, in one of the Indian Buddhist stories 
referred to above, gifts a favoured mortal with “ super¬ 
natural vision and hearing"; he could understand ever 
afterwards “all sounds " and “ the voices even of ants”,* 
Siegfried was able, after eating the heart of the dragon, 
to understand the voices of birds. The birds revealed 
the secrets of the deities. Michael Scott aci^uired know¬ 
ledge of the future and of how to cure diseases by eating 
a portion of the white snake which, like the Indian 
Naga, was connected with water; while Flonn,* the Gaelic 
hero, became a soothsayer after tasting of the juice of 
“ the salmon of wisdom ”; this salmon dwells in a pool 
and devours the berries of the holly tree, thus acquiring 
its red Spots. The salmon is an avatar of the well or 
lake di^on and is a guardian of treasure like the Indian 
Nttga. A salmon form of a destroying dragon is, in 
Irish lore, associated with Loch Bil Siad (“the lake 
with the jewel mouth "), one of the lakes on the Galty 
Mountains,* Various cults favoured various trees. 

^ 111 Tkr p- 9 - * 

■OXuiryT L^ftwrw p«r Aiswutfriff ^ 41^; Inti N*wiut */ 

VaL !l, 


5 * 

Thus Thomas the Rhymer received the gift of propheqt 
by eiating of an apple in the Fairyland Paradise, He 
then became “True Thomas"—that Is, “Druid Thomas", 
“Sooth-saying Thomas". The goddess known as the 
Fairy Queen gave him the apple: 

Syne they came lo garden green. 

And she pu'd an apple frae a Lreej 
Take this for wages, True Thomas, 

li will give thee longue that can never lie. 

The connection between the sooth^yer and the 
dragon can be traced in ancient Egyptian literature. Na- 
nefer-ka-ptah who slew “the deathless snake” obtained 
a magic book, and then “knew what the birds of the 
sky, the fish of the deep, and the beasts of the hills all 
said”.’ In the story of “The Shipwrecked Sailor”, an 
tnarincr tells of an island in the ocean inhabited 
by talking serpents. He describes the king serpent as 

“Suddenly I heard a noise as of thunder which I thought to be 
chat of a wave of the so. The trees shook, and the earth was 
moved. I uncovered my face and I saw that a serpent drew near. 
He was thirty cubits long and hts beard greater than two cubits; 
hb body was as overlayed with gold, and his colour as that of true 
lazuli. He colled htcnself before me,” 

The serpent foretells that the sailor will return to his 
home- Like the dragon isles of China and Japan and 
the Celtic "Isles of the Blest" the Egyptian serpent 
isbnd vanishes by sinking beneath the waves,* 

In Japan the Tengu, originally a kite, was identified 
with the Garuda, A mythical story tells that once a 
dragon, having assumed the shape of a small snake, lay 

* W, M. FliiLden PeEn«, TsUt (IScexmd LanxiftA, It'S!! p- 

* tMJ. (Firtt Stri^i}, L^daii^ "f- 

’ -1 


backing in the sun on the bank of a lake in nvhich 
he livedo Suddenly a kite swooped down and carried it 
Like other Japanese gods and demons, the 
Tengu was in the course of time clothed in Buddhist 
garb. It was likewise influenced by Chinese myths 
regarding the "Celestial Dog”, 

The Garuda was in Tibet similarly identified with 
another demon, and passed in its new form into Mongolia, 
De Visser, {Quoting Gruenwedel's Myikohgie des Bud- 
dhhmui Iff 77 ^fI und dtr M^ff^c/ri, says that " the Garudas 
are described as represented in Lamaism with a fat (human) 
body, human arms to which wings are attached, and a 
horned bird's head. They are deadly enemies of the 
NSgas (serpents identifled with the Chinese dragons) 
and belong to the attendants of the dreadful gods.” One 
illustration in Gruenweders work (p, 26) shows a Garuda 
" as an eagle or kite with a kind of headnlress and ear¬ 
rings, carrying away a Nilgi (serpent woman) and on the 
same page another figure of the same entirely human but 
with long wings at the back”.* A characteristic of the 
Japanese Tengu, in its semi-human form, is its long nose. 
Grotesque stories are told of human beings making use of 
a Tengu's fan which promotes the growth of the nose. 
Of special interest, in this connection, is the fact that the 
S/iisMsAS, a book of the Japanese Shin sect, identifies the 
Tengu with the elephant-headed Indian god Ganesha 
*‘on account of the human shape and the elephant’s 
trunk ”, Although De Visscr thinks this theory is 
wrong,because “there is no doubt as to the bird’s shape 
of the Tengu”,* it should not, however, surprise us to find 
that the kite demon, having been identified with the 
Chinese “celestial dog”, should also be fused with the 

1 TFtfKH¥t¥0tP c/ dt AilMlic VqU XXXV Purt n, p. 41. 

* Vot XXXV[p [], pp. ^ p. ^ 



Indian elephant* The Japanese TengUj as a god of the 
mountains, was identified with the thunder god, and was 
consequently a rain-giver* 

These references are of importance in dealing with 
the American culture complexes revealed by its mytho¬ 
logical symbols. In the first place it will be seen that the 
attributes of one class of animals or reptiles pass freely, 
with drifting myths and doctrines, to another class—that 
birds, dogs, and even elephants may be fused and that 
bird-men, dog-men, and elephant-men may, as gods or 
demons, represent precisely the same idea, or a similar 
group of ideas. In one country the eagle or vulture, and 
in another the kite, took the place of the original secretary- 
bird as the destroyer of serpents* The serpent-slaying 
bird was deplrted in a local natural form, or as a com¬ 
posite wonder beast” or **wonder man”* The long- 
nosed Tengu of Japan, in semi-'human shape. Is a form 
of the original kite and possesses the attributes of the 
“celestial dog” of China, and of the elephant-headed deity 
Ganesha of India. It is possible therefore that **the 
long-nosed god ” of America may be identified with an 
eagle, a macaw, or an elephant, or with a thunder god 
and a rain god. It may have been any of these or alt 
of these in onc^ 

The Buddhists made peace between the bird-men, the 
Garudas, and the snakc'-men and snake-women* Birds 
and serpents were united as allies and worshippers of 
Buddha^ In the winged dragon, the Old World “ feathered 
serpent”, we have the union of these ancient enemies 
symbolized. A composite deity of pardy human shape, 
as a wonder-beast, or as a long-nosed being, possessed the 
combined attributes of the original anthropomorphic deities 
and their animal symbols, and of the original enemies the 
secretary-bird and the snake—that is, of the Egyptian 


falcon god Homs suid his enemy Set as “the roaring 

The Mexican eagle with the snake caught in beak and 
talons is therefore like the Garuda-eagle of India which 
similarly preys on snakes. Both arc mythical bird gods. 
Both have their history as mythological beings rooted in 
remote times in a distant area of origin. 

As has been shown, the myth of the tree which grows 
over the pool or lake in some sacred spot, and especially 
on an island, is of complex character. The tree vanes in 
diflerent countries. It may be an oak, a rowan, a hazel, 
a palm, a vine, a sycamore, or, as wc go eastward, a peach 
tree, plum tree, or cassia tree (China), or an orange tree 
(Japan). It is the tree or plant of life. In the Meidcan 
national symbol a cactus stands for the tree or plant of life. 

The oracle bird, in various mythologies, sits on the 
tree, and the serpent, as the guardian of the tree, lives in 
the pool as a fish or a serpent-dragon. Tree, bird, ser¬ 
pent, and fish (or toad) arc avatars of the deity who 
dwells beneath the lake or pool as does the NSga king in 
Indian myths. In Mexican mythology the gods of ratn, 
the Tlalocs, have their dwelling beneath the cactus on the 
rocky island of the lake. They were consulted by the 
priests as the oracle bird was by the Celtic Druid. The 
Aztecs were advised by the Tiroes to build their capital 
round the sacred lake. 

The sacred island with its sacred tree or plant and 
sacred well, is found, as has been indicated, in many my¬ 
thologies and in many folk-stories. It is the dragon island 
or fairy island, or an " Island of the Blest” in various 
countries from China to Scotland, The original, or at 
any rate the most ancient island with a life-giving well and 
tree, is referred to in the Egyptian Pyramid Texts. Be¬ 
yond the eastern horizon the souls of Pharaohs were led 


by Horus iti his form of a gorgeous green falcon, which 
was the Morning Star, to “the tree of life in the mysteri¬ 
ous isle in the midst of the Field of Offerings Above 
the island are the gods as swallows, the swallows being 
“the Imperishable Stars”, Gods and Pharaohs are fed 
on the fruit of the tree, and drink of the water of life 
from the well, or receive food and water from the goddess 
in the tree, the goddess being the great mother (Hathor) 
of the sky and the sun.‘ 

The mother goddess is the source of all life and the 
food-giver who sends the water of life as rain, dew, or river 
floods. The moisture conies from her sacred well. She 
is associated with the god who controls the water supply 
and the food supply—the god who instructs and guides 
mankind and leads the soul to the tree and welt of life in 
his falcon form. The struggle between bird and reptile, 
which results in the production of fertilizing moisture, is 
the struggle of the forces that control the elements. 
When the moisture-retaining snake is slain, the water of 
life is released. The Mexican eagle-snake symbol of the 
Aztecs was a guarantee of an assured water supply. The 
moisture-refining cactus is the plant from which the fer¬ 
tilizing moisture issues. One drop of the fertilizing 
moisture will produce a Hood. The £g)’ptians believed 
that the Nile rose in flood after a tear fell from Sirius, 
the star of the mother goddess, on the “ Night of the 
Drop ”, The same idea is found in the Japanese story 
already referred to of the Tengu carrying off the dragon in 
the shape of a small snake. The Tengu drops the snake 
“into a deep cleft in the rock . . . knowing well that the 
latter cannot take his own shape nor fly through the air 
without the aid of water, though even a single drop”. 
A few days later the long-nosed Tengu carried off a priest 

* RMJipwa #4^ pf. 


who was about to fill his pitcher at a wcU^ and dropped 
him into the same cleft. There was^ fortunately, a drop 
of water in the pitcher. 

“ The dragon, strengthened by the drop of water that is left in 
the pitcher^ ch an ges at once into a little boy, flics into the air 
ami^t thunder and lightning with the priest on his back.” * 

Dragons, in Chinese and Japanese lore, frequently appear 
as little boys or little girls. The feet that children were 
sacrificed in Mexico to Tlaloc by being thrown into his 
lake is signiiicant in this connection. 

A single clement in the Mexican symbol remains to 
be dealt with. This is the stone or rock from which the 
cactus springs. As a rule it is depicted in symbolic shape. 
Here we appear to have another form of a deity who may 
be shown as a standing stone, a pillar, or a mountain. 
The mountain splits to give birth to the sun : it is the 
"sun-egg "j in China stones split to give birth to 
dragons; in various countries influenced by drifting mega- 
lithic culture, stones from which moisture cmaiiates are 
believed to be inhabited by spirits. The island and the 
stone arc, like the tree or plant of life containing moisture, 
forms of the great mother of the god who, as the re¬ 
incarnation of his father, is the " husband of his mother 
Tlaloc is associated with the goddess Chalchihuitllcue, 
who, as will be shown. Is an American Hathor connected 
with life-giving water, marsh plants, precious stones, and 
jadelte. The god and goddess are manifestations of the 
principle of life. 

Both bird and serpent figure prominently in post- 
Columblan American mythologies. Bancroft* Is another 
writer who regards this association as “ natural"Asa 

^ TrwviKtimi o/tAr if VoL XXXVl, Part It, p. 41. 

■ T 4 tf Ndtivi RMCit a/ iAi af VaU 1p. 154- 


symbol, sign, or type of the supernatural", he writes, 
“the serpent would ttatttr^Uy suggest itself at an early 
date to man." But allowing it to be natural—a mere 
coincidence—that the wriggling lightning and the wriggling 
river should suggest the wriggling serpent to the people 
of the Old World and the New, it is surely very remark¬ 
able that in pre-Columbian America as in India the serpent 
should be regarded as a demon which causes drought by 
confining the water supply, and that it should be regarded, 
too, as a producer and guardian of precious gems that 
bring “luck” to mankind, cure diseases, promote 
longevity, protect against injury in battle, promote birth, 
work charms, &c. There is nothing natural about the 
idea that the scrpciit must be slain so that the water 
supply may be assured and that the slayer should be 
a monstrous eagle or a god, and that the attributes of 
the slain serpent should be acquired by the bird or the 
deity of which the bird is a symbol or avatar. There 
must be surely some very special and definite reason 
for the widespread prevalence of such a conception. 
This " unnatural" religious complex has surely a his* 

A reasonable explanation seems to be that the early 
people, who entertained such curious beliefs about a ser¬ 
pent-demon, or deity, were searchers for the gems that 
serpent gods were supposed to possess. In I ndia the Garuda 
is a serpent-slayer, as has been shown. This mythical 
bird is evidently a memory of the African secretary-bird. 
The Indian enemy of the serpent is the mongoose. Its 
war against serpents is as constant and consistent in India 
as that of the secretary-bird's in Africa. If the original 
beliefs connected with the reptile-slaying animal had had 
spontaneous origin in India, the mongoose and not the 
mythical eagle would have been the stressor. If, on the 


other hand, the importitice attached to the combat and 
the complex beliefs regarding the treasure-possessing snake 
were introduced into India by searchers for treasure, who 
there localized their mytholc^ical system, we should 
expect to find in IndJan mythology the mongoose taking 
the place of the secreta^-bird and acquiring the attribut^ 
of ^e treasure-producing and treasure-guarding serpent 
It slays. As a matter of fact, this is exactly what we do 
find. Kubera, the Aryo-lndian god of the north, is the 
god of treasure. Laufer informs us that in Buddhist art 
Kubera is figured holding In bis left hand a mongoose 
spitting jewels. By devouring snakes the mongoose 
“appropriates their jewels, and has hence developed Into 
the attribute of Kubera’V The mongoose is here as 
a slayer not of ordinary snakes but of snake deities, 
a local substitute for the foreign secretary-bird in its 
mythological setting, as well as a form of a complex deity 
who had already been localised. That the treasure-seekers 
who introduced into India the complex beliefs associated 
mth the deity which guarded treasure and the deity which 
killed the treasure-producer to obtain gems, also reached 
Central America in the course of time is made evident by 
the feet that the Maya workers in jade and amethysts had 

a goddess named lx Tub Tun, “she who spits out precious 
stones * ^ 

Ix Tub Tun possesses the attributes of an Indian Nagi 
(a female snake deity), of Kubera, the Indian god If 
treasure, and of his animal attribute, the snake-slaying 
mongoose. Before the treasure-seekers reached America 
from the Old World colonics which they had founded 
the religious beliefs connected with gold, pearls, turquoises, 
lapis-lazuli, &c., had passed to jade, amethysts, &c. There 

I (cSieirB, ijijj, f. 7, rrm 4. 

I- O. PrimEun, jt finmrr ^ Ai^aw 


must therefore have existed in the Old World a set of 
highly complex ideas regarding jade and amethysts befotc 
the searchers for them crossed the Pacific. Can the view 
be reasonably entertained, especially in view of the Indian 
evidence, that among the pre-Columbian Americans there 
was not an imported psychological motive for the search 
for jade and amethysts as there was undoubtedly for the 
search for gold and silver? In the New as in the Old 
World the precious metals and gems were supposed to be 
possessed of “ life substance ” derived from supernatural 
beings. These objects brought luck (which meant every- 
thing mankind desired), protected warriors in battle, 
assisted birth, cured diseases, &c. The fact that the 
Maya had a god of medicine, named Cit Bolon Tun (the 
Nine Precious Stones) is of undoubted importance in this 

The Mexican coat of arms, in which the eagle grasps 
in its talons and beak a wriggling snake, is a symbol, not 
only of an independent American nation, but of ancient 
American civilization which, like modern American civili¬ 
zation, had its origin in the Old World. The everlasting 
combat between bird and reptile is in the New World 
a mythical one, but in Africa it continues to be waged 
between two natural enemies. As it chanced, the bird 
and the serpent were incorporated at an early period into 
the complex mythology of that progressive people, the 
ancient Egyptians, whose seafarers rtfSched and colonized 
distant lands and introduced into thern the elements of 
their culture. The process of culture-mixing that resulted 
can still be traced in India, China, Indonesia, Polynesia, 
and in, pre-Columbian America. The ancient colonics 
that were founded budded fresh colonies, and the original 
mythological system, in which the everlasting combat 

* Q* if ^ it* 


between an animal and a reptile remained embedded like 
a fly in amber, was carried and wide. 

It may be noted here that the strange conception of a 
water-confining serpent has its history in Ancient Egypt. 
The two goddesses of Upper and Lower Egypt had 
vulture forms and snake forms. After the “two lands" 
were united these goddesses were regarded as the female 
counterparts of the Nile god Hapi and the one acquired 
the attributes of the other. They also became fused with 
the milk-yiclding cow-form of Hathor, and were referred 
to in the Pyramid Texts as “ two mothers^ the two 
vultures with long hair and hanging breasts” (Breasted, 
7 ^e/igio?i attii Thought^ p. 117). In the cavern source of the 
Nile the serpent-mother was the controller of the river, 
who sent the inundation once a year. It was because the 
Nile shrinks until June and then suddenly begins to 
flood, that the water-controlling deity was regarded as 
the confiner as well as the giver of water. The myth is 
in Egypt a record of natural phenomena. Bird and 
serpent were associated because in Egypt a political fusion 
brought about a fusion of cults. The secretary-bird 
illustration was superimposed on the Egyptian myth. 

As will be shown in the next chapter, another complex 
symbol, which is closely associated with that of the 
secretary-bird and snake, was likewise carried to distant 
parts from the same area of origin, and it affords 
unmistakable proof of the far-spread and persisting in- 
ffuence of Egyptian culture in ancient times. 


The Winged Disc and the World*s Ages 

Orig;in at the Winded Dtic Symbol^Ditc OH TcttiptoH^oo? LititEli in Old 
and Wqrlda^—SymboUim of ihc Portili—Teinpic a Symbol of Mqlhcr 

Goddes^Doctrino of the World'^ Agev^Doctrinc toDiiEcted with Colonr 
Symbol inn and Metal Symbaham—Tbc GreeJe* Cclslc* Indiaii^ ChincK, nnd 
Mcnicin Docirlneiof the Worliff Aga — Mexican $e<^ucncecf Agei MenticaJ 
With iiidlin—Flrtt Age in Meicico and Jndia of latne Duraiion^DeExiU ol 
MexicaJi Agci—Babybnkn Syarem of Cakul&ilon m Atnenci—Polnu of 
Campus Coloured iil Ol[l and Ne¥t WoHdi—Gold Dhtca and CrosKii in 
Anierl'C^-^SymboliBin. of Coloored Gjumentx^Tcn Vean' Cycle—Anliciiuity 
and Origin of Colour SymbolisTT^—Blue SymboliBin in Old and New Worlds— 
Alchemy and Colonr Symboliun — [ntcfnxl Organs cnlouml iu Mcxlcoi China, 
and Egypt—Complexity of American Ideu. 

The winged disc symbol of the suti god is found to have 
been distributed \n ancient times over wide areas. It can 
be traced in Egypt, Phtsnicia, Asia Minor, Mesopotamia, 
across the Iranian plateau, in Polynesia and in pre- 
Columbian America. This symbol had origin in ancient 
Egypt. Of that there can be no shadow of doubt. It 
was at once, in the Nile valley, a religious symbol and 
a political symbol. It is indeed as outstanding a symbol 
of ancient Egyptian civilization as is the Union Jack of 
the civilization of the British Isles. The Union Jack is 
made up of the crosses of England, Scotland, and Ireland: 
the winged disc is made up of the religious symbols of 
united Egypt. The disc represents the sun, the wings 
are those of the falcon god, Horus, the chief deity of the 
dynastic Egyptians who united by conquest Upper and 
Lower Egypt, and the two serpents that entwine the disc 



and extend their bodies above the wings arc the ancient 
tutelary serpent goddesses of the two ancient divisions of 
Egypt, namely Nckhebit and Uazit, called by the Greeks 
Elicithyla and Buto, Occasionally these serpents were 
crowned with the diadems of Upper and Lower Egypt, 
The ancient Egyptians placed the image of the winged disc 
*^ovcr the entrances to the inner chambers of a temple, 
as well as over its gates, and on stela and other objects^'. 
Sometimes the symbol is simply a winged disc without 
the serpents. Although seldom represented in the Old 
Kingdom, these winged discs were common in the New.” ^ 
It may be that in this complex we may trace the influence 
of stories about the secretary-bird brought from East 
Africa; as the winged disc, the god Horus pursues Set 
and his companions in their various forms, including their 
serpent forms. The battle ends when Set ‘‘changed him¬ 
self into a roaring serpent that hid itself in a hole"* 

In pre-Columbian America, as in Egypt, Phcrnicia, 
and Western Asia, the winged disc was placed on temple 
door lintels. h was utilized in like manner but in 
modified form in India, Cambodia, Indone$ia, Melanesia, 
Polynesia, and in China and Japan. Each ancient country 
that adopted it added something of its own. The Poly¬ 
nesian form is of special interest, because (i) It shows in 
the disc the head of the bird-devouring serpent—the 
secretary-bird of Africa with which seafarers had become 
familiar, and (2) it is an interesting link between the 
winged discs of the New World and the Old. The 
various representative examples of the disc (see Plate, 
page 64) show how, as a giver and protector of life and 
as a destroyer of the enemies of life, it was connected 
with local symbols of the life-giver in different countries. 

■ WicihnuLBa, itt/igim ^ lit Atiitti Egfptim, l^A^gn (tTEDt,), 1S97, p]>. 77-!* 


There was a very speciai reason why in the Old World 
and the New the disc was placed above the entrances of 
temples. These entrances are the portals of the Artemis 
form of the ancient mother goddess. Elliot Smith has 
discussed in this connection “ the remarkable feature of 
Egyptian architecture which is displayed in the tendency 
to exaggerate the door-posts and lintels, until in the New 
Empire the great temples become transformed into little 
more than monstrously overgrown doorways and pylons”, 
‘He emphasizes “ the profound influence exercised by this 
line of development upon the Dravidiau temples of India 
and the symbolic gateways of China and Japan”,* The 
gates" were of great signilicance because “they repre¬ 
sented the means of communication between the living 
and the dead, and, symbolically, the portal by which the 
dead acquired a re-birth into a new form of existence. It 
was presumably for this reason that the winged disc, as 
a symbol of life-giving, was placed above the lintels of 
these doors.”* The temple was in a sense a symbol of 
the mother goddess in which dwelt the god. The name 
Hathor signifies “house of Horus”. The young god 
had origin in the “house”. He was “husband of his 
mother”, to use the Egy'ptian paradoxical term. As the 
symbol of the combined influence of the god and goddess, 
the winged disc was the “ life giver ” in the deepest and 
widest sense of the term. It gave tain which nourished 
vegetable life on which human beings fed, and in this 
sense symbolized the thunder-bird which slew the water- 
conflning serpent-dragon; it ensured immortality or 
longevity as a temple symbol placed above the portals of 
birth; the dead were re-born so that they might enter the 
Otherworld, In pre-Columbian America, as In the Old 

■ if fAi aaJ GrinMl 



World, the winged disc with the feathered serpent and the 
snake-slaying eagle symbolized not only the powers that 
sent life-giving rain so that the food supply might be 
assured, but was likewise a guarantee of life after death; 
it was the guide, protector, and healer of the living and 
the dead. 

When the winged disc, which originally flew from 
Upper to Lower Egypt, extended its flight until it ulti¬ 
mately crossed the Pacific, the andent mariners and 
prospectors and traders, whose wanderings it followed, 
introduced the religious doctrines with which it had 
become associated in various areas of culture. The 
doctrine of the World's Ages is one of these. It is 
found In its most clearly-defined forms among Old W'orld 
peoples in Greece and India, and in both countries it is 
associated with colour symbolism and metal symbolism. 
The Ages were coloured and each colour was symbolized 
by a metal. There is evidence, however, that before the 
metals were connected with colours, earth-colours were 
used. This, at anyrate, was the case with the colours 
black, white, red, and yellow. Black appears to have 
symbolized night and death; white symbolized daylight 
ai'.J life; red symbolized the life-blood, and yellow sym¬ 
bolized lire and heat; red speckled with yellow was the 
more elaborate symbol of life, while yellow speckled with 
red represented fire. 

The Greek doctrine of the World's Ages has a dif¬ 
ferent colour sequence from that of India. Hesiod gives in 
his am^ Days five Ages in all, but his fourth age is 
evidently a late interpolation. The first was the Golden 
Age when men lived like the gods under the rule of 
Kronos; they never grew old nor suffered pain or loss 
of strength, hut feasted continually, enjoyed peace and 
security. This race became the beneficent spirits who 


Amisrkaji (SripcEit Itrril from Tltil). |lil3yEisn.kjny 
4, j, Eiyffian. 


watch over man and distribute riches. Men were inferior 
in the second or Silver Age. Children were reared up 
for a century and died soon afterwards. In the end Zeus, 
son of Kronosj destroyed this race. Then came the 
Bronze Age. Mankind sprang from the ash and had 
great strength, they worked in bronze and had bronze 
houses, but iron was unknown. As the Bronze Age men 
were violent, and deceitful, and takers of life, Zeus said to 
Hermes, 1 will send a great rain such as hath not been 
since the making of the world, and the whole race of 
men shall perish. I am weary of their iniquity.” Deu^ 
calion and his wife Pyrrha were, however, spared because 
they had received Zeus and Hermes, when these gods 
had assumed human shape, with hospitable warmth. 
Zeus instructed his host to build an ark of oak and store 
it with food. When this was done the couple entered 
the vessel and the door was shut. Then Zeus broke 
up all the fountains of the deep, and opened the well' 
springs of heaven, and it rained for forty days and forty 
nights continually”. The Bronze folk perished; even 
those who had fled to the hills were unable to escape. In 
time the ark rested on Parnassus, and when the waters 
ebbed the old couple descended the mountain and took 
refuge in a cave. The Fourth Age was the age of the 
Homeric heroes. When the heroes passed away they 
were transferred by Zeus to the Isles of the Blest. Then 
followed the Iron Age. 

Jubainvillc has shown in his Le Cycle Mytholop^ut 
IrlandaU tt la Myth^kgit Ctliique that the doctrine of the 
World’s Ages is embedded in Celtic mythology. The 
first Age, however, is the Silver which is followed by 
the Golden, the Bronze, and the Iron Ages in succes¬ 

The colours of the four Indian Ages, called “Yugas”, 



are: (i) white, (a) red, (3) yellow, (4) black, and their 
names and lengths arc as Follows; 

Krita Yuga, 4800 divine years. 

Trcta Yuga, 3600 „ „ 

Ow^para Ytiga^ 2400 „ ^ 

Kali Yuga, 1200 „ „ 


One year of mortals Is equal to one day of the gods. 
The 12,000 divine years equal 4,320,000 years of mortals; 
each human year is made up of 360 days. A thousand 
of these periods of 4,320,000 years equals one day (Kalpa) 
of Brahma, A year of Brahma is composed of 360 
Kalpas and he endures for too of these years. 

Krita Yuga (Perfect Agc^ was so named because there 
was but one religion, and all men were so saintly that they 
did not require to perform religious ceremonies. No work 
was necessary; all men had need of was obtained by the 
power of will. Narayana, the Universal Soul, was white. 

In the Trcta Yuga sacrifices began; the World Soul 
was red and virtue lessened a quarter. 

In the Dwapara Yuga virtue lessened a half; the 
World Soul was yellow. 

In the Kali Yuga men turned to wickedness and 
degenerated; the World Soul was black. This was *‘the 
Black or Iron Age ”, according to the MaM-bMrat&. 

The doctrine of the World’s Ages can be traced in 
China. It Is embedded in the works of Lao Tze the 
founder of Taoism, and of his follower Kwang Tze. 
“In the age of perfect virtue”, wrote the latter, "men 
attached no value to wisdom. . - . They were upright and 
correct, without knowing that to be so was Righteousness; 
they loved one another without knowing that to be so 
was Benevolence; they were honest and 1 ^-hcarted with- 


out knowing that it was Loyalty; they fulfilled their en¬ 
gagements without knowing that to do so was Good Faith; 
in their simple movements they employed the services of 
one another, without thinking that they were conferring 
or receiving any gift. Therefore their actions left no trace, 
and there was no record of their aflairs.”' The reference 
is quite clearly to the first Indian Age, Krita Yuga. 

The doctrine of the World’s Ages was imported into 
pre-Columbian America. In Mexico these Ages were 
coloured, (1) White, (2) Golden, (3) Red, and (4) Black. 
As in other countries “golden” means “yellow”, metal 
symbolism having been closely connected with colour 
symbolism. In the Japanese Ks-Js-ki yellow is the colour 
of gold, white of silver, red of copper or bronze, and 
black of iron. The following comparative table is ot 
special interest: 


Greek—Yellow, White, Red, Black. 

Indian I—.White, Red, Yellow, Black. 

Indian 11—^White, Yellow, Red, Black. 

Celtic—White, Red, Yellow, Black, 

Mexican—White, Yellow, Red, Black, 

The Mexican sequence Is identical with Indian II, 
It may be noted that the White or Silver Age is the first 
and most perfect in Indian, Celtic, and Mexican; Greece 
alone begins with the Yellow or Golden Age of Perfec¬ 
tion, The following comparative table shows the lengths 
of the Indian and Mexican Ages; 


Firsi Age, 4B00 
Secarid Age, 3600 years. 
Third Age, 2400 years. 
Fourth Age, ttoo years. 


4800 yews, 

4010 years. 

4801 years, 

5041 years of famine. 

^ ^ CjiMd diii Cbiftcr XVI, 



In both countries the First Age is of exactly the same 
duration^ There were white^ yellow^ and red heavens in 
Mexico as in India. The Brahmanic Trinity, which in 
India was composed of Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva, is 
found in Mexico too in association with the doctrine of 
the Worid^s Ages, In the “ Translation of the Explanation 
of the Mexican Paintings of the Codex Vaticanus'', 
Klngsborough writes:^ 

“Plate L /fsm/jM, which sigrtiRes the place in which exists 
the Creator of the UhIvct^e, or the First Cause, to whom they 
gave the other name of Homcteull, which means the God of tlifee- 
fold dignity, or three gods the same as Olomrisj they call this 
place ZSvcEisvichncpaniticha, and by another name Homciocan, that 
is to say the place of the holy Trinity, who^ according to the opinion 
of many of their old men, begot, by their word, CtpaEOnal and 
a woman named Xumio- and these are the pair who existed before 
the deluge/* 

[ii the First Age of Mexico Water reigned till at 
length Jt destroyed the world. Men were changed into 
fish. A man and a woman escaped from this deluge hy 
climbing a tree called Ahuehuctc (the fir). Some believed 
that seven others who hid in a cave likewise saved their 
lives. During the First Age, which was ailed Coni^tal 
(** the hite Flead men ate no bread but only a certain 
kind of wild maize cdlcd AtzitzIutiL The descendants of 
those who escaped the deluge repeopicd the world. They 
worshipped their first founder whom they called “ Heart 
of the People ", to whom they made an idol which was 
preserved in a very secure place, covered with vestments. 

“ All their descendants deposited m that place rich jewels such 
M gold and precious stones. Before this idol, which they called 
their Heart, wood was always burning, with which they mixed 
copal or ijicfifiscs” 

* Kia^)>«ag|h, jfmi^da Vfll, VI, i jfi n u^. 

^ uifccpvKia 

h 17^ N(»w irv liiv NuiunaL of Mticico^ 


One of the seven who sheltered in a cave and escaped 
the flood went to Cbulukn, **and there began to build 
a tower which is that of which the brick base is still 
Visible. The name of that chief was Xclhua. He built 
it in order, should a deluge occur again, to escape it. . . . 
When it had already reached a great height, lightning from 
heaven fell and destroyed it." According to the Moslem 
vmion, the Tower of Babel was overthrown by a violent 
wind and earthquake sent by God.’ 

The Second Mexican mythical Age was named Con- 
euztuque (the Golden Age). Mankind ate no bread but 
only forest fruits called Acotzintlt. This Age was 
brought to on end by very violent winds, and all human 
beings were changed into apes with the exception of 
a man and a woman, who escaped change or destruction 
"within a stone” or sheltered in a cavern. 

The Third Age was brought to an end by fire, Dur^ 
ing it men ate no bread and lived on the fruit of the 

The Fourth Age was, like the Kali Yuga of India, one 
of wickedness. It was called the "Age of Black Hair”. 
The province of Tulan was destroyed on account of the 
vices of its inhabitants. A great famine prevailed. 
“Moreover it rained blood and many died of terror.” 
All people were not, however, destroyed, ^‘but only 
a considerable portion of them 

The rationalizing process can be traced in the Mexican 
as in the Greek doctrines of the World’s Ages. Such 
traces of local influence and development are, however, 
of small account. The important fact remains that the 
Greek, Celtic, Indian, and Mexican doctrines are essentially 
the same and have evidently been derived from a common 
source. The Ages have their colours and, although the 

‘ Gcotk« SUt, zu Kiri», ChtpUT XVf. 



colour sequence difl^rs slightly, the symbolic colours or 
metals are identical. It would be ridiculous to assert that 
such a strange doctrine was of spontaneous origin in 
different parts of the Old and New Worlds. 

It has been noted that the duration of the First Age 
is the same in Mexico and India—namely 4800 years. 
The Indian system gives the length of the four Yugas as 
4,310^000 years of mortals which equal i2jOOO divine 
years. That it is of Babylonian origin there can be no 
doubt. The Babylonians had ten antediluvian kings 
who were reputed to have reigned for vast periods, the 
total of which amounted to 120 saroi or 432,000 years. 
Multiplied by ten this total gives the Indian Maha-yuga 
of 4,320,000 years. In Babylonia the measurements of 
time and space were arrived at by utilizing tbe numerals 
10 and 6. The six parts of the body were multiplied by 
the ten Ungers. This gave the basal 60, which multiplied 
by the two hands gave the 120. In measuring the 
Zodiac the Babylonian mathematician fixed on T2o 
degrees. The Zodiac was at first divided into 30 moon 
chambers marked by the “Thirty Stars’*. The chiefs of 
the “Thirty’* numbered twelve. Time was equalled with 
space and 12 x 30 gave 360 days for the year. In 
Babylonia, Egypt, India, and Mexico the year was one 
of 360 days to which 5 godless or unlucky days were 
added, during which no laws obtained. That the Mexi¬ 
cans should have originated this system quite indepen¬ 
dently is difficult to believe. 

Another habit common to the New World and the 
Old was that of colouring the points of the compass and 
the four winds. In this connection, as in that of the 
doctrine of the Coloimcd Mythical Ages, the habit is of 
more account than the actual details. It is important, in 
dealing with the question of culture drifting, to trace the 


habit; it is astonishing to hnd that the details come so 
close to agreement in far-separated countries. The Indian 
doctrine of the Ages was better preserved in Mexico than 
in China, 

It would be difficult to postulate a convincing reason 
why" various peoples in different parts of the world should 
have simultancousty' and independently “ evolved" the 
habit of colouring the points of the compass. Nature 
affords no hint in this connection. “ Red Land ” was to 
the Aztec as to the ancient Egyptians a wholly mythical 
country — Paradise or a division of Paradise. The 
Egyptians had also a Red North and a White South, 
which were symbolized by the Red Crown of Lower 
Egypt and the White Crown of Upper Egypt; while their 
West, being the entrance to Dewatj the Underworld* was 
black speckled with red. Here, as in the doctrine of 
the World’s Ages, the colours represent ideas, not natural 
phenomena. In India the north is white and the south, 
being Yama's gate and Yams the god of death* is col- 
oured black. Southern India is no darker than the north. 
The Chinese coloured their north black, their south red, 
their rast green or blue, and their west white. In Gaelic 
the north is black, the south white, the east purple-red, and 
the west dun or pale. This colour scheme obtained along 
the ancient sea and land routes, and in the East it seems 
to be intimately associated with Indian cultural influence. 
In Ceylon the north is yellow, the south blue, the east 
white, and the west red; in Java the north is black, the 
south red, the east white, and the west yellow. The same 
system can be traced in other parts of the Old World, 
including Japan, where the north is blue* the south white, 
the cast green, and the west red. That the habit reached 
the New World by different routes across the Pacific is 
fully demonstrated by its prevalence among American 


peoples in various stages of culture. It is not a primitive 
habit, but one associated with complex rices that had 
become stereotyped before being disseminated far and 
wide, and with ideas closely connected with the symbolic 
colouring of lands, seas, rivers, mountains, races, mythical 
ages, and deities. In centres of ancient culture, whence 
the habit emanated, the symbolism of colour is closely 
a sodated with the symbolism of metals and with the 
ideas and practices of early alchemists. The early pro¬ 
spectors who searched for precious metals did so l^cause 
a religious value had been attached to them. They 
identified the metals by their colours, and connected them 
with the elements. Noble metals ” like gold and silver 
were connected with the air and the sky, and with the 
heavenly deities. The colours revealed the attributes of 
sacred objects and of deities. Dyed cloths, precious 
stones, and feathers were likewise valued for their 
colours. What may be called a proto-alchemistic philo¬ 
sophy existed in early times among the people who had 
acquired from centres of complex religious culture funda¬ 
mental ideas regarding the virtues of precious metals. 
These ideas were handed down from generation to gen¬ 
eration as superstitions. The practice of wearing a gold 
talisman of symbolic shape, which Columbus found to be 
quite prevalent in the West Indies, had undoubtedly 
a history, although the wearers knew nothing of it and 
entertained as vague ideas regarding the significance of 
the practice as do modern dusky savages regarding the 
Christian cross symbol of which they make a fetish. 
Such savages know nothing of the history of Chris¬ 
tianity, or Its various sects and thcir theological systems. 
They wear the cross because they have been instructed 
by those to whom the symbol stands for much that 
unlettered peoples cannot comprehend. The habit of 


CEL.TiC Blade. 



Hl:ick ^ 

E GqW 


E a _ 








CEYLON Yettow 



^ White 

Rrd ^ 




JAVA Biaclc 

CHINA Black 



^ WMte 

White W 

^ Creen 






MEXICO l?£d 

MAYA White 



Blue ^ 

^ YclTovr 

Blidt ^ 

^ PttI 







Tb<! wf Eclchirtoj ituf £ 3 riliii«l> painli wjii in ihf Old ariI Nrvt WmJJi, 

S«nte cuiii rejarikd tJRC pATtiinabr iC^ont 91 pcewlijirlsf iicnd. Tlim liw bmldlajiii fimircl 
ytliowj tlit. C^lii purplr, »nd 1 ® on. 


we^iring it has bcccme prevaJcnt and widespread among 
ccrbiin peoples. In tike manner the habit of attaching 
ideas of religious origin to colours was acquired by dif¬ 
ferent peoples in andent times. These people were 
unable to account for the origin of such ideas or to 
explain even the precise significaRce of their beliefs which 
had consequently passed to the stage known as “super¬ 
stition An interesting illustration of this fact is found 
in the account of the visit paid to Easter Island by the 
Spanish frigate Santa Rssalia in 1770. An officer wrote 
regarding the natives; " They are quite content with old 
rag% ribbon5) coloured paper, playing cards and other 
bagatelles. EvcTything of a bright red ealsur plea$et them 
^atlyy but they despite biaeiJ** * The colour symbolism of 
the Easter Islanders had a history as had also their bird 
symbols and their habit of erecting stone Images, but 
they knew nothing of that history, or of the ancient 
complex beliefs of which their superstitions were relies. 
These complex beliefs were originally associated with 
habits of life obtaining among peoples by whom their 
ancestors had been influenced either directly or in¬ 
directly. In the process of lime the habits of life in 
question were cither discarded or forgotten by the 

'When we find that among Red Indian tribes, as welt 
as among the civilized peoples like the Aztecs and Maya, 
colour symbolism had wide applications and that colours 
were associated with the four cardinal points, it would be 
unreasonable to assert that the associated beliefs were 
either natural or necessarily of independent origin. 

^ Workft tnurd bjr tbt Sodetj, Sccaod Scil^i, Na. XI [I, pt, 

^ Rout]c4BC, Tl# Afjftitfy ^ Eainf W+ H- Rtrervy 

Xlt# ^ ^£jFsf^ Ara SrimA AoMUiitnj^ fn S9B)i 

jHisjety ^ Mtfxfmiirr 


Among the Navajo Indians the east is white, the south 
blue, the west yellow, and the north black. The southern 
and western colours are permanent^ white those of the 
east and north are interchangeable. This fact Is of 
undoubted importance. The colours of the cardinal 
points appear to have been influenced by the doctrines 
of the World's Ages, and by the custom of observing 
tycles or “sheafe” of years as constituting periods dur¬ 
ing which certain deities suffered loss of directing and 
stimulating power. One set of colours was favoured in 
one period and another set in another period. This 
practice obtained in connection with the king’s attire in 
the country of Fu-sang described by an andent Chinese 
writer. It is stated that; 

^*Thc colour of the King^s garments is clianged according to 
the mutations of the years. The first and second years (of a 
ten-year cycle) they are blue (or green); the third and fourth 
years they are red; the fifth and sixth years yellow; the seventh 
and eighth years white, and the ninth and tenth years black.*’ 

The custom of colouring the cardinal points was also 
closely connected with the custom of wearing coloured 
garments appropriate to certain ceremonies, A Chinese 
emperor, acting as high priest, wore azure robes when 
worshipping heaven, yellow robes when worshipping the 
earth, red robes when worshipping the sun, and white 
robes when worshipping the moon. In like manner the 
priestly robes in Salvador were coloured black, blue, 
green, red, and yellow.^ 

The Mongols, Tartars, and Tibetans observed the ten- 
yean cycle, and the colours connected with the different 
periods of the cycle were represented in the robes of 

’ Bincroft, Tit ATilNFf Rtta cj At Aaift Ntnk Laodijii, ily<, 

T&L ilj fi. Til, 


those who performed religious ceremonies,^ Connected 
with the custom of colouring the cardinal points, cycles 
of years, and the robes of kings and priests, was the 
custom of associating certain colours with certain days. 
The Java peoples had a week of five days coloured (1) 
white, (a) red, (3) yellow, (4) black, (5) mixed colours. 
The first day was connected with the white east, the 
second with the red south, third with the yellow west, 
the fourth with the black north, while the mixed colours 
were symbolic of the centre of the cross of the four 
cardinal points* There were lucky and unlucky days, 
as there were good and bad Ages according to the doctrine 
of the World's Ages, 

The subject of colour symbolism is too complex a one 
to be dealt with at length here, but sufficient evidence 
has been cited to indicate that the post-Columbian 
habit of colouring the cardinal points was neither spon¬ 
taneous nor natural, but was connected with doctrines 
cither partially acquired to begin with, or partially retained 
by the descendants of those who had acquired them from 
centuries of ancient culture. In Tartary, Tibet, and 
Mongolia, the doctrines associated with an elaborate 
system of colour symbolism originally emanated from 
India and China, and both India and China had acquired 
the doctrines from older centric of civilization and 
developed them in the course of time. The habit of 
using colours symbolically is as old as civilization and 
can be traced in Babylonia and Egypt. Before the 

^ HttC, 4 L«Ddeil 

Hi Jic iJti ciurjiArAi t*m*t SjmMu dr* dt tHitimsm 

fir* in Jm Niimv^4a-M<Mdf^ PAITIf I $7?-' 

M. Ji RUjiftJili, ‘‘FiapmciiJ in Jnrmn! Atimhifmgf 

Mifi, iSii)* 

" Cmrlbn^ 1A4 India* Ediabsifi^ 1 


Egyptian system was dissemimted in the ancient world 
it was closely associated with metal symbolism, and the 
symbolism of coloured garments worn by priests and 
gods, aivd the symbolism of body paint and coloured 
deities. Withal the colour scheme was applied to time 
and space and to the cardinal points. 

We are therefore confronted with a very ancient habit 
and with relics of ancient and complex religious concep¬ 
tion, when we find that in Dakota Red Indian rites white 
is a sign of consecration; blue is the colour of wind, of the 
west, of the moon, of water, of thunder, and sometimes 
of lightning even; while red symbolizes the sun, stone, 
various forms of animal and vegetable life; and yellow 
symbolizes the sunlight as distinguished from the fructi- 
lying power of the sun. The use of the colour blue is 
of marked significance, because the introduction of this 
colour is of comparatively recent origin in the history of 
civilization. It first came into prominence In Egypt 
where bloc was manufactured by pouring molten copper 
on a local sandstone containing a blue-producing soda.’ 
Egyptian blue became an important article in the trade 
of the ancient world, and was named by the Semitic 
traders after the Nile. In India it was known as nily 
&c,^ Blue was the colour sacred to the mother 
goddess Hathor, who had an intimate connection with 
Water and the moon. In India the rain-giving god Indra 
is the patron of the east, and the Indra colour Is /ti/a. 
The Nagas, however, live in the west, and in India, as in 
Dakota, the west is blue. Blue is the cardinal point from 
which the rain supply comes. In China the rain-makers 

* PrirfcEp^l liiiLjrir, ErfinSurylsi who ku iomAv ihLi hu iel 

EdJrtqf^cturinK EgypciJin hlut 

* AElf r blti^ r roJ™ it «ii oTitiintd from mnd 

Uut Wcuntf ii^ii viEujkli! m in irticle at traolc, Lijte muru taitpk it wi 

firit ^nri^hciS che tridrf. tfl purple wu m\k obtAitjifd from 


who face the cast perpetuate a prc-Buddhistk rain cere¬ 
mony in which Indra as the niin^lver is invoked In the 
form of the Azure dragonJ 

The Dakota custom had apparently origin among 
a people who had been influenced by Buddhist ideas 
regarding Nagas (serpent gods) and the connection be¬ 
tween N^gas and watcr^ thunder, and lightning. Red 
symbolized the life-blood and the life-principle in the 
sun, in the stone Image, or habitation of the red sun god, 
and the life-principle in vegetation and trees, the sap of 
which was identified with blood. Yellow as sunlight is 
evidently symbolic of fire and gold, In Ancient Egypt 
the sun was red in one aspect and yellow or golden in 
another. The Chinese coloured part of their summer red 
and part of it yellow, and both colours were connected 
with the south, red for the period of the red sun, and 
yellow for the period of the yellow sun. 

In Yucatan, according to Brinton, the north was 
white, the south red, the west black, aiid the cast yellow* 
Other pre-Columbian American systems give the north as 
black, the west as red, the cast as white, and the south as 
yellow, or the north as red, the south as white, the west 
as green or blue, and the east as yellow. The Maya had 
a white north, a yellow south, a red east, and a black 
west. Green, blue, and black appear to have been inter¬ 
changeable and to have symbolized the same influence. 
The colour doctrine appears, too, to have been influenced 
by local natural phenomena as well as by the system of 
cycles/ But, as in other connections, the habit of colour¬ 
ing time, space, and localities is of more importance than 

^ De Viiirr^ TAf n CAhm ppr 

s That 11^ Sr the tttrrtJl WU tbf Jfir Kt S 4 ChtiiA St IttiJe Widti lii 

C|ypl ihc n^rlln wm Ihr iJOvrc? pf ihp tunl *.^4 wind diiriDB the hcA 

aad it wu tvluuTcd wJ benuK it mrSted ind vEimidilDd, 



the details of the colour system* That the habit was 
acquired in the New World the very complexity of the 
associated customs and beliefs, among unprogressive as 
among progressive peoples, demonstrates to the full. 
This is shown clearly by the Maya custom of associat¬ 
ing colours with the internal organs of the human body. 
Yellow is the colour of the belly, red of the part named 
“serpent being", white of the "white being”, while black 
is " disembowelled This custom is in China connected 
with the belief that the elements and the cardinal points 
(and therefore the gods of the cardinal points) exercise an 
influence on bodily health and on the internal organs. 
The north which is black influences the kidneys and 
bladder; the south when red influences the heart and 
intestines, and when yellow the spleen; while the west, 
which is white, influences the lungs and small intestines- 
and the cast, which is blue or green, influences the liver 
and gall, Dc Groot shows that the various cardinal 
points are In the complex Chinese religious system con¬ 
nected with the seasons, the elements, and the heavenly 

The east, controlled by the blue dragon, is connected 
with the spring, with wood, and the planet Jupiter; the 
south, controlled by the Red Bird, is connected with 
summer, fire, the sun, and the planet Mars; the west, 
controlled by the White Tiger, is connected with autumn, 
wind, metal, and the planet Venus; the north, controlled 
by the Black Tortoise, is connected with winter, cold, 
water, .md the planet Mercury. Here the belief con¬ 
nected with alchemy and astrology are closely associated. 
The wind of the west gives birth to metal (noble metal) 
and enters the lungs, and Venus as the “Golden Aphro 
dlte” or “Golden Hathor" Is connected with metals, 

‘ De Cfiwtj TAt Sjfiim af 4 VeL Jll, ^3* 


while the aun heat of the red south which gives birth to 
fire i$ in the heart and the red planet Mars Is controller. 

In ancient Egypt redj which is the colour of the 
north, was connected with the small viscera; the souths 
which was white, with the stomach and large intestines; 
the west which was dark, with the liver and gaJl; and the 
east, apparently golden, with heart and lungs. This 
strange conception had origin m connection with mummi¬ 
fication when the internal organs were placed in catiopic 
jars dedicated to the Horuses of the cardinal points. It 
is quiEe evident that the Chinese system has a history 
outside China: it is interwoven not only with Buddhist 
ideas but has in weft and woof the intricate and far- 
carried conceptions of the ancient civilizations of Babylonia 
and Egypt. That the Maya system which survives in 
fragments which betoken its extreme complexity was of 
independent origin and perfectly natural, is a hypothesis 
that places a severe strain on credulity, especially as the 
internal organs of the dead were placed in Jars dedicated, 
like the Horns jars of Egypt, to the four cardinal points. 
It involves not only a belief In the theory of “ psychic 
unity”, but necessitates the conclusion that the pre- 
G:>lumbian Americans had precisely the same experiences 
and the same history in similar environments as the 
peoples of the Old World, and that the process of cul¬ 
ture mixing was identical or almost so. Is it possible 
that widely separated peoples should have evolved the 
same arbitrary and artificial system of connecting colours 
with time and space, with the points of the compass 
and the gods of these points, and of connecting these 
colours and gods with wood, water, wind, and metal, and 
the internal organs of the body? It is not possible to 
account for such connections by American evidence alone. 
The history of the culture-mixing process cannot be traced 


in America. On the other hand the connections in China 
are most plausibly effected in the elaborate Fung-shul 
system, the history of which can be traced to India and 
beyond. It is quite inconceivable that the elaborate 
American system was not developed, as was the Chinese 
system, from imported complex ideas, originally based on 
experiences of the natural phenomena of a distant culture 
area, where a theorizing priesthood interpreted them in 
the light of their own paiticalar traditions, experiences, 
and discoveries, and under pressure of distinctive political 
influences that necessitated a fusion of the ideas of rival 
cults. The pre-Columbian religious system is from the 
outset too complex and too artificial to have had inde¬ 
pendent origin. As its history cannot be traced in the 
New World, but can. be in the Old World, the conclusion 
is inevitable that the influence of the Old World was at 
one time active and stimulating. The questions therefore 
arise: (i) whence the ancient influence or Influences eman¬ 
ated (2) what people or peoples re.iched America in 
pre-Columbian times? and (3) what route or routes did 
they follow? 


Semites, Celts, and Norsemen in America 

Theory of Tertiary Man in Americi—Origin qf American Clviliutian 
—Ra-d]e Ouetiion of Sceondajy 1 mporwnce—of Attiericin Origin*— 
NoahV DacervduH—The Lmt Ten T n\m —Si. Thoniu in America—The 
Lo« Adantu Theory—Ctjthagtntafl Swfnrcn rcachH Sargaiio Sea—Did 
Phtmitiani reach Americar—American Legcpirfa or**WhEn^ Beaininl Men*" 
—Wrbh Legend of St, Madoc—WeUh-epeakiQg Red Izidiani—ScottJih Gael* 
io Amcnea—An Iriih Claim—Gaelic Numcmli in Ccninl America—None> 
Diicoven of AmeriGt—“ While Man^t Land ”—Aiiatic Link* wiih Amnricau 

The thcoiy of the mdependetit origin of American civili¬ 
zation and the pre-Columbian religious systems has so 
obsessed the minds of some writers that they have set 
back the migration of the Red Man from Asia to the 
geological Tertiary epoch* It is asserted that the pioneer 
settlers reached the American continent by a land-bridge 
which formerly connected It with Asia. Later immi¬ 
grants mayj it is added* have arrived by way of Behring 

The theory that the ancestors of Modern Man were 
already migrating in Tertiary times from the Old World 
to the New is undoubtedly a staggering one^ Since 
the Eocene period (of the Tertiary Age), which must 
date back several millions of years^ the whole mammalian 
fiiuna”* wrote Professor James Geilcie In another con¬ 
nection, ** has undergone manifold modifications and 
changes* continuous evolution having resulted in the 
more or ]^s complete transformation of numerous types, 

^ 7 


while many others have long been extinct.” If the 
theory of man's existence in Eocene and Oligocene times 
is to be accepted, the view must obtain that, in his case 
alone, "evolution must have been at a standstill during 
a prodigiously extended period”.’ 

The Ice Age followed the Tertiary Age, and it was In 
its later phases and during what is known as post-Glacial 
times that Modern Man reached Western Europe. 
That he entered America at an earlier period has yet 
to be proved. 

A fact that cannot be overlooked is that the so-called 
Red Man bears a striking family resemblance to certain 
inhabitants of north-eastern and central Asia, while other 
American peoples resemble Polynesian and Malayan types. 
But, at the same time, the race question is of secondary 
importance in dealing with the question of civLlIiatlon, 
As language affords no certain proof of radal aMnities, 
neither do racial affinities afford proof of the origin of 
a specific culture, and especially such a complex culture 
as is found among Maya and Aztec peoples. The possi¬ 
bility has always to be borne in mind that two sections 
of the same people may in separate areas be subjected 
to different cultu^ influences, and may embrace religions 
and be incorporated in social organizations that bear 
little or no resemblance one to another. The present- 
day Africans of the United States, for instance, arc 
physically akin to the natives of West Africa, yet how 
deep and wide is the culture gulf that separates thcml 

When Columbus discovered the New World, be 
believed that San Salvador, the first island he reached, 
was situated in the Indian Ocean and not far distant 
from the famous island kingdom of Cipango (Japan). 
The natives were called “Indians”, a name which has 


dung to the Red Man. These islander? had canoes; 
they could not have reached San Salvador uukss they 
had been seafarers. On another island^ which Columbus 
name Fernandina, m honour of his king, he found that 
cotton was used for clothing, and that for beds the 
Indians had nets of cotton suspended from two posts 
and called “hamacs’", another name which has been 

After the Spaniards had conquered Mexico, the Old 
World theologians found it difficult to account for the 
peopling of America, and much speculation was indulged 
in as to whether Noah, one of his sons, or the immediate 
descendants of his sons, had selected that part of the 
world for settlement of a portion of the human race. It 
was urged that the crossing of the Pacific or Atlantic was 
unlikely to have presented difficulties to the descendants 
of a man who had the unique opportunity of solving 
the problems of navigation during his voyage in the 

Another theory was that the post-Columbian Ameri¬ 
cans were descended from the "lost ten tribes of IsracL*. 
It was first suggested by the Spanish monks who under- 
took the work of Christianizing the Red Man, and 
during the early part of the nineteenth century not a few 
writers set themselves to prove it. Chief among them 
was Lord Kingsborough who spent about £50,000 in 
publishing his great work Mexico 

(London, 1830)* The fact that the pre-(^lumbian 
Americans did not speak Hebrew was accounted for by 
some advocates of the Lost Ten Tribes theory by the 
suggestion that the devil had prompted them to 
learn new and various languages so that they might 
not be able to understand the language of the Christian 
faiths The devil never dreamed that the missionaries 


would cheat him by learning all these strange lan¬ 

In conflict with this theory regarding the Satanic 
influence in the domain of languages, was the early 
monkish belief that St. Thomas had reached America 
and preached the gospel there. This mission was first 
suggested by the amazing discovery that the natives 
venerated the cross. Among the Mexican jewels sent 
to the King of Spain by Cortez were **a cross with 
a crucifix and its support'*, a coiled serpent symbol 
“with a cross on the back”, “three little flowers ot 
gold and greenstones, one with two beads and the other 
with a cross ”. Boturini relates that he discovered 
a cross, which was about a cubit in size and painted 
a beautiful blue colour, including five white balls on 
an azure shield, “without doubt emblems of the five 
precious wounds of our Saviour”. Another cross was 
found in a cave in Lower Mbtteca, and from this cave 
angelic music issued on every vigil of St. Thomas. The 
saint left marks of his feet in various parts of the New 
World as did Buddha in India. In like manner the 
Welsh were wont to point out the footprints of Arthur’s 
horse which leapt the Bristol Channel when the romantic 
king pursued Morgan le Fay. The marks of the horse's 
hoofs of another hero who pursued the CatUeach are 
pointed out on the north shore of Loch Etive in Argyll¬ 
shire. Wooden crosses were venerated in the state of 
Oaxaca and in Aguatolco among the Zapotecs. The 
Spaniards found crosses among the Maya in Central 
America, in Florida, in Paraguay, and among the Incas 
of Peru who venerated a jasper cross. As in the Old 
World, the cross symbol was connected with the gods 
of the four points of the compass who controlled the 
elements, and therefore with the doctrines referred to 


wnnKipiKr )sn»nuaf 4 q^rnUilic Afur« ( 1 , <n jmScnfomarj*!* iici[)r wbo itaM* on ■ ttiHI, Irf tbe ibcll ii ibc Lant-ntiteJ ioil“ ICJiie 
=TliJ#«l fn,m wh9K - pJ^rl rnKr*H and ibt Lead nf tbe “ BiaJ« pi % The In HK-eoilre (emiuu^teJ bp ihe ,crtrp f,«n bird) 

rrprnenn 1 detip rrsin whom ipriaji ibr niaiu. | 

Glimfti Cmtttmttt'*, fy P. omd A. p 

p ■ I » 




m previous chapter^ inckdmg that of the four ages of 
the world which were coloured like the ca^rdinal points. 

The Spaniards were so convinced, however, that the 
pre-Columbian cross was a Christian symbol that they 
examined Mexican mythology for traces of St* Thomas. 
Topiltdn Quetzalcoatl, the hero god, was regarded 
as a memory of the saint. “To“ was an abbreviation 
of “Thomas^', to which **pi[dn” which means **son*" 
or "disciple" was added. TopiIt^in Quetzalcaatl closely 
resembled in sound and significance Thomas, surnamed 
Didymus* Some, on the other hand, regarded Quetzal- 
coatl as the Messiah^ and this view found favour with 
Lord Kingsborough, who wrote: 

“How truly surprising h h lo find tha( the Mexicans should 
have believed in the incarnadon of the only son of thdr supreme 
god Tonacaiccutle. For Mexican mythology speaking of no 
other son of thai god except Quetzalcoatl, who was born of 
Chimalman, the Virgin of Tula, without connect ton with man 
and by his breath alone , , . it must be presumed that QuccmU 
coatl was hts only son. Other arguments might be adduced 
to show that the Mexicans believed that Quclzalcoatl was bath 
god and man, that he had, previously cc his incarnation, existed 
from all cicrnity, that he had creatiiid boih the world and man, 
that he descended from heaven to reform the world by penance, 
that he was born with the perfect use of reason, that he preached 
a new law, and, being King of Tula, was cruciAed for the sins of 
mankind* . * 

The *^losc ten tribes" were supposed to have 
wandered eastward from Assyria and to have reached 
America by Behring Strait* 

Another famous theory is that the pre-CoJumbian 
civilizations were established by colonists from the lost 
Island of Atlajitis, Brasseur dc Bourbourg has been Its 

^ N*ehs* rfFdtifik Sttia ^ Vol. V, py i^. 

* VoL Vpj. 507- 



;:hief exponent. He quotes Plata’s record of the story 
that Solon when iti Egypt was informed by the priests 
regarding the Lost Atlantis, It runs as follows: 

Among the great deeds of Athens of whfch rccoUcction is 
preserved in our books, there is one which should be pbccJ above 
all others. Our books tell that the Athenians destroyed an army 
which came across the Atluncic Sea and insolently invaded 
Europe and Asia j for the sea was then navigable, and beyond the 
ftrait where you place the Pillars of Hercules there was an island 
larger than Asia and Libya combined. From this island one 
could pass easily to the other islands, and from these to the con¬ 
tinent which lies around the interior sea. The sea on this side of 
the strait (the Mediterranean}, of which we speak^ resembles 
a harbour with a narrow entrance^ bur there is a genuine sea, and 
the bnd which surrounds tt is a veritable continent. In the island 
of Atlantis reigned three kings with great and marvellous power. 
They had under their dominion the whole of Atlantis, several 
other islands, and part of the Continent. At one time their 
power extended into Libya, and into Europeas far as Tyrrbenia; 
and, uniting theif whole force, they sought to destroy our countries 
at a blow, but their defeat stopped the invasion and gave entire 
independence to all countries on this side of the Pillars of Hercules. 
Afterwards, in one day and one fatal night, there came mighty 
earthquakes and inundatioi>s, which engulfed that warlike people; 
Atlantis disappeared beneath the sea, and then that sea became 
Inaccessible^ SO that navigation on it ceased on account of the 
quantity of mud which the engulfed island left in its place/* 

Prod us, quoting from a lost work, refers to islands in 
the exterior sea beyond the Pillars of Hercules and 
States that the inhabitants of one of these islands ** pre¬ 
served from their ancestors a remembrance of Atlantis, 
an extremely large island, which for a long time held 
dominion over all the islands of the Atlantic Ocean ". 

The AbW Brasscur de Bourbonrg, who has advocated 
the view that civilization had origin in America, found it 
necessary to assume that the American continent it one 


time extended as a great peninsula from the Gulf of 
Mexico and the Caribbean Sea to the Canary Islands or 
their immediate vicinity'. This vast extension of land was 
submerged as a result of a great convulsion of nature. 
Yucatan, Honduras, and Guatemala sank too, but after¬ 
wards the land rose sufficiently high to restore these 
countries and the West Indian Islands. The Abb^, who 
was an accomplished American philologist, professed to 
have found records of this cataclysm in ancient American 
writings of which he gave a hypothetical interpretation. 
His philological argument in support of the view that his 
Atlantis had real existence runs as follows: 

** The words Atiat and Atiaiitie have no satisfactory etymology 
in any language known to Europe. They are not Greek, and can¬ 
not be referred to any known language of the Old World. But in 
the Nahuacl language we find immediately the radical n, (jf/, which 
signifies water, war, and the top of the head. From this comes 
a series of words, such as athn^ * on the border of*, or ‘amid the 
water’, from which we have the adjective Atianlk> We have also 
‘to combat*, or ‘be in agony*; it means likewise ‘to hurl*, 
or ‘dan from water*, and in the preterit makes atk^. A city 
named Atian existed when the continent was discovered by 
Columbus, at the entrance of the Gulf of Uraba, in Darien, with 
a good harbour; it is now reduced to an unimportant pueblo 
named Ada” 

Those who have pinned their faith to Plato’s account 
of the Lost Atlantis have overlooked two facts: (i) 
that the events related to Solon by the Egyptian priests 
took place "9000 Egyptian years" earlier, and {2) that 
“navigation” on it (the Atlantic Ocean) ceased on account 
of the quantity of mud which the Ingulfed island left in 
its place Geologists scoff at the idea that the Atlantic 
has ever been, since boats were Invented, too shallow for 
safe navigation. “I know of no geological evidence”. 


wrote Professor James Gellcie in this connection, *'that 
puts it beyond doubt that the Atlantic basin is the site 
of a drowned contlnetit. On the contrary, such evidence 
as we have leads rather to the belief that the Atlantic 
basin, like that of the Pacific, is of primeval origin," On 
the other hand Professor Edward Hull thought there 
was something in the tradition of the Lost Atlantis, but 
expressed the opinion that the submergence of the land 
or island took place during “ the glacial period when 
much of Europe and the British Isles were covered by 
snow and ice". Hull dated the submergence at about 
10,000 B.C., but others place the close of the Icc Age at 
from 20,000 to 30,000 b.c. Dr. Scharff; Dublin, has 
expressed the belief that the Atlantic land-bridge between 
Southern Europe and the West Indies was probably 
separated in Miocene times”—that is millions of years 
ago and before the appearance of Modern Man on the 
globe. Recent discoveries in connection with the post- 
Glacial epoch have established a connection between CrA- 
Magnon man, the earliest representative of Modern Man 
in Western Europe, and North Africa, He imported 
Indian Ocean sea-shells from some centre in the East. 
These shells could not have been found nearer than 
Aden. The earlier Europeans of the Neanderthal species 
were on a low stage of civilization. 

It has been found necessary on the part of those who 
favour the Lost Atlantis theory to assume that metals 
were first worked on the submerged sub-continent or 
island. Copper was in use in Egypt and Sumeria (the 
southern area of Babylonia) at about 3000 B.c. If they 
received their skill in metal-working from Atlantis, the 
pre-Columbian Americans should have known how to 
utilize copper at as remote, if not at an even more remote 
period. But, as a matter of fact, the introduction of metal- 


working in America is of comparatively recent date. 
“ Most students of American archaeology are agreed ”, 
writes Sir Hercules Read, “ that the Mexican and Peru¬ 
vian bronzes arc not of any great antiquity, and that the 
Bronze Age must have been over in China long before it 
began in the New World." ^ 

New light has been thrown of late on the movement 
of Eastern peoples towards the Adantiq and of the ex¬ 
ploration of the Atlantic coasts of Western Europe before 
the Bronze Age", by discoveries of great importance 
made in Mesopotamia and Spain. Tablets found on the 
site of the ancient Assyrian capital of Asshur contain 
the statement that Sargon of Akkad, who reigned before 
2500 B.C,, occupied Caphtor (Crete) and tapped the trade 
from the Tin Land in the Upper Sea (the Mcditer- 
ratiean), (n Spain M. Siret has found on sites earlier 
than the Bronze Age, cult objects called idols of Meso¬ 
potamian style, cut in hippopotamus ivory from Egypt, 
portions of ostrich eggs, alabaster perfume-flasks ot 
Arabian pattern, Egyptian cups of marble and alabaster, 
painted vases of Oriental origin or style, mural painting 
on layers of plaster, religious objects of the Palm Tree cult, 
amber from the Baltic, jet from England (apparently from 
Whitby in Yorkshire), the green stone called w/AiR, which 
is found in beds of tin, a diadem of gold belonging to 
the **Neolithic Age”. A shell from the Red Sea (Dcji/a* 
Hum Eiephantittum'^f found by M. Bonsor, in a Neolithic 
or Eneolithic bed near Carmona, affords further proof of 
a racial and cultural drift from the East into Western 
Europe before the introduction of the manufacture ot 
bronze. The Eastern traders and prospectors worked 
and exported metals and other substances, and had evi¬ 
dently coasted round to Britain and the Baltic. A canoe 

^ BrilLi^a MuMatn, n tAt Anfi^uMn ^ tV Srattv pf, 11Q-1+ 


found in Clyde silt, with a cork plug, evidently came 
from the Medlterranciui and probably from Spain where 
cork trees grow. 

These early navigators apparendy found no difficulty 
in navigating the Atlantic, Did they visit any country 
which afterwards became submerged? An interesting 
fact in this connection is that the Clyde canoe was found 
embedded in silt twenty-five feet above the present sea- 
level. The land in Scotbnd has risen since it foundered. 
Now, when Scotland was rising, southern England and 
northern France were sinking. At Morbra2 In Brittany 
there are megalithic monuments covered by several metres 
of water as a result of coast erosion and local land sinking 
after the last great land movement ceased. The Dogger 
Bank land-bridge or island and other North Sea islands 
were submerged about the same time. Clement Reid 
dates the beginning of the period of gradual land sub¬ 
mergence at about 3000 b,c,, and writes: 

Wc arc dealing with times when the E^ptian, Babylonian, 
and Minoan civilizations flourished. Northern Europe was then 
probably barbarous, and metals had not come into use; but the 
amber trade of the Baltic was probably in full swing. Rumours 
of any grat disaster, such as the submergence of thousands ot 
Square miles and the displacement of large popnlations, might 
spread far and wide along the trade routes. Is it possible that 
thus originated some of the stories of the delugcP”! 

It is more possible that thus originated the legend of 
the Lost Atlantis and that the mud banks in the North 
Sea are those referred to in Plato’s version of it. This 
view is rendered all the more plausible by the quotatioti 
from Timagenes given by Ammianus Marcellinus (XV, 9). 
Tima^nes was informed by the Druids that a part of the 
inhabitants of Gaul was indigenous, that another part had 

> SMhmiPgtJ FQrttfi^ P» H*- 


come from the fkrthest shores and districts across the 
Rhine, expelled from their own lands by- the frequent 
wars and the encroachments of ocean. This subsidence 
apparently occurred at the beginning of the Bronze Age,‘ 
which, so frr as Western Europe is concerned, was 
evidently of earlier date than has hitherto been supposed. 
As much is indicated by the Asshur tablets referring to 
Sargon of Akkad's empire, and Siret's discoveries in Spain. 

Among the believers that the Lost Atlantis was situ¬ 
ated in the middle of the Atlantic was Dr, Schlicmann, 
the famous pioneer of prc-Hellenic archaeological excava¬ 
tions. He believed that the people of Atlantis had *‘a 
more advanced currency than we have at present". 
Among his papers were found after his death one which 

“I have come to the conclusion that Atlantis was not only 
a great territory between America and the West Coast of Afrlot 
and Europe, but the cradle of all our civilization as well. There 
has been much dispute among scientists on this matter. Accords 
ing to one group the tradition of Atlantis is purely fictional, 
founded upon fragments^ accounts of a deluge some thousands 
of years before the Christian cm. Others declare the tradition 
wholly historical, but not capable of proof.” 

Schliemann's posthumous papers set forth that he 
found at Troy a bronze vase containing fragments of 
pottery, images and coins of a peculiar metal", and 
“objects made of fossilized bone". On some of these 
relics are Phcenician hieroglyphics which he read as 
“from the King Chronos of Atlantis". Subsequently he 
found among pre-Columbian relics from Central America, 
preserved in the Louvre, Paris, similar pieces of pottery 

* Thrte 4rch»Dbstal ^ " jHire Kmd Eicir Hwncr tsr b|<t mint drop 

cwit of UK* AppiT«AtJy *^DCcilkC]3ic'' InJiiitfj Wii, AI djimcrie* thaw, 

inETHfatcd hy a who l^rchpd for nkcLkItt 


and fossilized bone. He asked that an owl-headed *' 
vase should be broken open. His grandson^ Dr. Paul 
Schlicmanii^ announced in 191Z that he had Ibund in 
this pre-Columbian vase a coin or medal of “ silver-like 
metal" inscribed in Phoenician hieroglyphs that read, 
Issued in the Temple of Transparent Walls", and that 
he had “ reasons for saying that the strange medals were 
used as money in Atlantis tour thousand years ago". 
His evidence, however, has not, so far, been accepted 
by, or even submitted to, scientists capable of passing 
judgment on it. 

Schliemann's theory connects the Phoenicians with 
Atlantis and pre-Columbian America. Whether or not 
these enterprising mariners, who, according to Herodotus, 
circumnavigated Africa, crossed the Atlantic and dis¬ 
covered America is uncertain. There are, however, vi^ue 
records of Carthaginian voj'ages which arc of special in¬ 
terest in this connection. The senate of Carthage, during 
“ the flourishing times ’’ of that great trading city, dis¬ 
patched hvo brothers, named Han no and Himilco, to 
found new trading stations of colonists on the Atlantic 
sea-board. Hanno’s ships were steered to the south 
beyond the Pillars of Hercules (Strait of Gibraltar), and 
Himilco s to the north. Accounts of their voyages were 
inscribed on votive tablets which were preserved in the 
temple of Moloch at Carthage. These have long been 
lost, but a Greek translation of Han no's account has 
sumved and is known as the '* Peri pi us of Hanno". 
Himilcos account has survived in fragmentary h^rm in 
Pliny and in the Book ^ ki^sudeTfid Siorieij ascribed to 
Aristotle, while its substance is contained in the Latin 
poem Ora l^arisintii of the Roman Consul Rufus Eestus 
Avicnus (c, A.n, Himilco reached a group of 

tin-bearing islands named the CEstrymnides, believed to 


be identical with the Cassitcrides. His fleet afterwards 
ventured into the open sea and was driven southward. 
The weather grew foggy* but in time the ships reached 
a warmer sea and were becalmed in the vicinity of exten¬ 
sive masses of sea-weed, believed to be the Sargasso Sea. 
On the homeward journey Himilco is believed to have 
touched at the Azores and the island of Madeira. A de¬ 
scription of a volcano suggests that TenerifFc was visited. 
“The wonderful high crown of the mountain”, says 
Pliny, “reached above the clouds to the ncighbourho^ 
of the circle of the moon, and appeared at night to be all 
in flames, resounding far and wide with the noise of pipes, 
trumpets, and cymbals.”’ This picture of “ Mount Atlas” 
was possibly derived from Carthaginian sources. Himilco 
was prevented by the magicians who accompanied him 
from continuing his voyage, and was thus apparently 
robbed of the glory that some aocJO years later fell to 

It would appear, however, that other Phoenician 
voyagers subsequently ventured across the Atlantic. THe 
sailors of Cades (the Phoenician colony of Cadiz) were 
wont to describe “ the deserted track in the ocean four 
days* sail to the south-west in which shoals of tunny- 
fish of “wonderful size and fatness” were found. In tlse 
Book of H^onderful Stories^ ascribed to Aristotle, it is stated: 

“In the waters of the Atlantic, four days’ sail from Gades 
(Cadiz), (he marine planu on which they (the uniny-fUh) feed 
grew to unusxial size, nnd the tunnies and congers of this coast 
Were delicacies sought after in Athens and Carthage; the latter 
city, after she obtained possession of the south of Spain, forbade 
their export to any other place”. 

When Columbus^ sighted on the Atlantic vast fields 
of weed, resembling sunken islands, among which were 

< Hitt, AlfJ., V, 1. 



tunny-iish^ he rcmenibcrcd the account given in the 
work ascribed to Aristotle of the weedy sea. The sea- 
animals crept upon the tangled weed. The Sargasso Sea, 
apparently the ** sea-weed meadows” of Oviedo^ “are the 
habitation ", says Humboldt, of a countless number of 
small marine animals". The glowing accounts of the 
islands in the Atlantic alarmed the senate of Carthage^ 
which feared an exodus to them, and visits were forbidden 
on pain of death. 

Some writers are inclined to identify the “ Fortunate 
Isles" with the West Indies, and to regard vague refer* 
ences to a “great Saturnian continent" beyond the 
Atlantic as indicating a traditional knowledge of the 
existence of America emanating from Carthage. Diodo* 
rus Siculus, who states that the Pheenidans discovered 
a large island in the Atlantic in which the inhabitants had 
magnificent houses and gardens, explains that the Cartha¬ 
ginians wished to use it as a place of refuge in case of 

One of the most prominent advocates of the theory 
that the Phccnicians crossed the Atlantic and founded 
settlements in America has been Mr. George Jones, the 
author of a Histf^ry of /incitni America, He has dealt 
with the similarities between American and Egyptian 
pyramids, the Greek style of certain American ruins, 
and other Old World resemblances in the New World. 
His view is that after Alexander the Great captured 
Tyre a remnant of the conquered people fled to the 
Fortunate bles, and afterwards reached the American 
continent; they founded their first city at Copan. Pre- 
Columbian American legends regarding “bearded white 
men", who “came from the East in ships", have been 
cited by Jones and others in support of the theory that 
the “Colhuas” of America were the Phoenicians. 


A Celtic daini of having discovered America has been 
urged on behalf of the North Welsh prince Madoc, who, 
in the twelfth century of our era, set out on a voyage 
across the Atlantic to find peace from family bickerings. 
He discovered a land that pleased him, and leaving there 
120 of his people returned to Wales. There he gathered 
together a band of adventurers and then set sail with 
ten ships. He was never heard of again. The land 
reached by Madoc “must needs be", wrote Hakluyt in 
his English Voyages^ “some part of that country which the 
Spaniards affirm e themselves to be the first finders since 
Hanno‘s time 

It has been suggested that Madoc settled “ somewhere 
in the Carolitias ”, and that his people were subsequently 
“destroyed or absorbed by some powerful tribe of Indians ”, 
In the preface to Southey’s " Madoc” epic, the poet says 
that about the same time as the Welsh prince settled in 
America, the Aitccs migrated into Mexico. He con- 
ndered that their emigration was connected with the 
adventures of Madoc. 

In t€6o, the Rev, Morgan Jones, a Welsh chaplain, 
discovered traces of Welsh influence in South Carolina, 
He and others were captured by Tuscarora Indians and 
they were condemned to die. Mr. Jones exclaimed in 
Welsh, Have I escaped so many dangers and must 
[ now be knocked on the head like a dog? ” An Indian 
who overheard and understood what he said, spoke in 
Welsh too. and said that he should not die. 

In the account of his experiences, written in 1686, 
and published in The Gentleman’s Magazine tn 1740, Mr. 
Jones relates that he and his party were welcomed by the 
Indians to their town. They ** entertained us very civilly 
and cordially for four months, during which time I had 
the opportunity of conversing with them femiliarly in the 



British (Welsh) language, and! did preach to them in the 
same language three times a week. . . . They are settled 
upon Pontigo River, not far from Cape Atros*” 

It has been claimed too that America, was reached by 
Gaelic-speaking adventurers^ and that vague memories of 
these settlements are preserved in the legends regarding 
St. Brandan's Islands, the Isles of the West, See. In this 
connection reference may be made to traces of the Gaelic 
language on the isthmus of Darien. Wafer in his New 
l^oyages gives, among the vocabularies of the tribes in this 
area, the following numerals which, excepting *‘div*', 
are Gaelic;^ 







The fact that Scotland was responsible for a Darien 
expedition may not be unconnected with this discovery. 
Lord Monboddo, a patriotic seventeenth century Scots¬ 
man, was a believer in the Welsh colonization of America 
and urged a claim on behalf of his own country. He 
found traces of the Gaelic language in different districts. 
A Highlander who took part in a polar expedition found 
that after a few days contact with an Eskimo he was able 
to converse with him by using Gaelic. “The Celtic lan¬ 
guage”, wrote his lordship, “was spoken by many of the 
tribes of Florida, which is situated at the north end of 
the Gulf of Mexico." A Highland gentleman who had 
resided in Florida for several years informed him that 
the languages of some of the tribes “had the greatest 

* PP- *6= CuUcD^I Mii 7^ 

iiJSafti if Ainirit^ VdiL 

With itmiliF tb t'hciie on nicfAlLElii ^nd tatVi In WmUtn jml Snuthrm Europe 


affinity with the Celtic”. The native names **of several 
of the Streams, brooks, mountains, and rocks, of Florida, 
arc also the same which are given to similar objects in 
the Highlands of Scotland. ... But what is more remark¬ 
able, in their war-song, not only the sentiments, but 
several lines, the very same words are used in Ossian's 
celebrated majestic poem of the wars of his ancestors who 
nourished about thirteen hundred years ago.”' 

Irish claims have likewise been made. The needs ot 
the '‘Isles of America” were thoughtfully remembered by 
St. Patrick, who sent missionaries thither. Some have 
expressed the belief that one of these missionaries was 
remembered in Mexico as the god Quetzalcoatl. * 

There appears to be no doubt that America was 
reached by the Norsemen in the eleventh century. The 
two chief records are Haui't a collection of early 

fourteenth century manuscripts, and the F/a/^ Book which 
was written about 1380. In the tenth century there 
were settlements of Norsemen, and of the mixed popu¬ 
lation of Norsemen and Celtic peoples, in Iceland. Erik 
the Red, the son of a Norse nobleman who became 
involved in a feud that compelled him to seek refuge 
in Iceland, left that island and sailing westward discovered 
Greenland. He spent a winter there, and returning to 
Iceland sailed again to Greenland with twenty-five ships 
for the purpose of establishing a colony. Biarni, son 
of one of the colonists, was in Norway when his father 
left Iceland for Greenland. He resolved to follow him. 
Soon after he set sail the weather grew very stormy and 
he was driven across the Atlantic until he sighted low- 
tying land which may have been Qipe Cod. The 
weather moderated and he sailed for two days towards 

1 Qui9|t^ irt Pfim'i 13 *- 

* in Dc pi. Eriii. 

(P»N> S 



the north-east, and again sighted land which may- have 
been Nova Scotia, Three days later a mountainous 
land, which may have been Newfoundland, was reached. 
The voyage was continued until at length the Greenland 
colony was discovered. 

About fourteen years later the unknown country 
sighted by Biarni was visited by Leif, the son of Brat- 
tahlid, after whom the Greenland colony had been 
named. Leif was a contemporary of Olaf Tryggvason, 
who had been converted to Christianity in Britain, and 
at the instiptton of that hero promoted the new faith 
In Greenland. In looa Leif set out in his ship to 
sail to Norway. He lost his course and was drifted 
towards a strange land covered with glaciers. As the 
foreground resembled a flat rock, he called it Hellulajid 
(the land of fiat stone). Sailing southward, Leif in time 
sighted a low-lying wooded country with stretches of 
white sand which he named Markland (land of woods). 
After landing, the voyage was resumed towards the 
south. In two days an island was discovered. It lay 
opposite the north-east part of the mainland. Leif 
directed his course between the island and a cape, and 
passed up a river into a bay, A safe landing was effected. 
The season was mid autimin and, as wild grapes were 
found, Leif called the country Vinland (wineland). 
Huts were erected so that the winter might be passed 
in this locality, where the climate was mild and the 
soil excellent. 

There can be no doubt that America was reached 
by both Biarni and Leif Heltuland may have been 
the coast of Labrador, but some incline to favour New¬ 
foundland, and Markland may have been in Nova 

Leif returned to Greenland with a cargo of timber. 


His fiithcr, Erjk the Red, had died, and he succeeded 
to his estate and responsibilities. Next year his brother 
Thorvald visited Vinknd and wintered there. In the 
sammer he explored the coast westward and southward. 
He was killed by natives whom the Norsemen called 
“skrcelinger ”, Some think these were Eskimos and 
others that they were Red Indians. The skrcelinger 
had skin canoes and slept under them. 

In lo^So Thorfinn Karlsefni fitted out an expedition 
and set out in search of Vinland. In one of his ships 
were two Scots, named Hake and Hekia, who were 
very swift of foot* Thorfinn wintered In Vinland, 
and his wife gave birth to a son from whom was de¬ 
scended Thorvaldsen the Danish sculptor In the spring 
Thorfinn explored the coast farther west and south, 
and, according to some writers, went south of Nantucket 
in Long Island Sound which he named Straumsfjord^ 
He stayed for some months with his party at a place 
he named Hop, which Mr, Gathornc Hardy identifies 
with the creek at the extreme western end of Long 
Island Sound close to New York.^ After spending 
three winters In America, Thorfinn, with part of his 
company, returned to Greenland. 

Another colonizing party was led to Vinlind by 
Leifs sister Freydis, a blood-thirsty woman, who killed 
several men and women because they annoyed her. She 
returned to Greenland. 

A trading station appears to have been founded m 
Vinland. The colonists are said to have been visited 
by a Christian priest named Jon or John who settled 
in Iceland. He was " murdered by the heathen 

The story is told of an Icelandic nobleman ixamcd 
Biorn Asbrandson, who set out for Vinland but was 

^ TJi ^AmrrffA^ LoaJewi, ifjxi. 


driven south of it to the region called by Norsemen 
HvitramafifiaJand (land of the white men)^ There he 
became a chief of a Red Indian trlbe^ The crew of 
a Norse vessel were captured by the Indians some years 
latetj and were released by Biorn who knew one of them. 
He spoke freely regarding his Icelandic friends^ but 
decided to remain in the new land. 

An interesting reference to the Norse colonists in 
America is contained In a letter from New England 
published in 1787 by Michael Lort^ vice-president of 
the London Antiquary Society* It was written ha]f 
a century earlier and states t 

There was a tradition cumrnt with the oldest Indians in 
these parts that there came a wooden hoiise, and men of anocher 
country in it) swimming up the Assoonec^ as this (Taunton) 
river was then cahedj who fought the Indians with mighty 
success / 

How far south the Norse adventurers penetrated it is 
difficult to say. Some think “white man's land” ex¬ 
tended to Florida. Brasscur de Bourbourg considered 
that he found traces of Scandinavian influence in the 
languages of Central America, and draws attention in 
this connection to the traditions of the Central American 
nations that point to a north-east origin.* 

There seems to be no doubt that the Atlantic was 
crossed by Norse explorers about two centuries before 
Columbus discovered America. It is possible, too, that 
Welsh, Irish, and Scottish mariners may have found their 
way to the New World when they set out, as did the 
Chinese, to search for the “Isles of the Blest”, The 
Phtenicians, who circumnavigated Africa and traded on 
the Indian Ocean, may have likewise penetrated beyond 

I Qufl(ed bjr B^Uwin ID AmttkA^ LcajpD, ^* 7 ^ *83-4+ 


the Sargasso Sea with which they appear to have been 
famLliar, But the dviUzation of pre-Columbian America 
contains elements that point to a process of culture- 
drifting not across the Atlantic but across the Pacific^ 
The dragon of America is more like the ** wonder beast ** 
of China and Japan than that of Western Europe or North 
Africa; the American “winged disc" resembles the 
Polynesian, while the elephant symbols of Copan are 
not of African but of Indian origin. Withal, there is 
no evidence that the Atlantic adventurers opened up 
trade routes, and maintained constant trading relations 
with the New World. The Norse trade between Green¬ 
land and Nova Scotia was never a very Important one, 
and it was certainly not from Norway, Iceland, or the 
Norse settlements in the British Isles that the beliefs 
and customs of Mexicans, Mayans, or Peruvians were 

In the next chapter, It wdl be shown that there 
were in earlier times than those to which Norse and 
Celtic sea-faring activities can be ascribed far eastern 
“Vikings” of the Pacific, who are known to have been 
traders for about 1500 years, and that migrations from 
south-eastern Asia into Polynesia and beyond were in 
progress for many centuries. 

Americaii-Asiatic Relations 

HuraD lo Tutuy—EvMcnce of MumnuflCBtiail—Geogaphid^ 

DuidbitiEQn of Minami^cAtiqo^AtncHaus MumTHtHH^Tonoi SiraluMurrimj^ 
—Trar» qf Egyptian Surgery—C ullurt Drirti"^—Evidence of Plate Anncui 
—^Weatenr-AUatk Armour In Arnerica—Amencan laAuenceln Nomh-eaitefn 
Aiia^Koryalt Boatv of Egypio-AiiMric Type—Eviilcncr of Irj md Muffwon 
Cult!—The Swrod PiUar Bind Flih OodEk^—The ^Vikiogi of the Eaii”-^ 
Stone-tuLiig Scaform^Jadc Belicfi in Aiia iLbd Amedca.—'Hea^l ^flaticnin^ 
Cunum—" Stone-men ” In Korca^ Indcnnlii and Eastern liland*—Culture! 
iprcad hy Seafarer!. 

That cultural influences rcstched pre-Columbian America 
flrom Asia there can now be very little doubt. It would 
appear^ too, that American cultural influences “ drifted *’ 
into a part of Asia. The theory of American isolation 
breaks down completely when these 6ct3 arc established. 

Interesting evidence regarding ancient trading relations 
between the Old and New World was forthcoming many 
years ago, but has been obscured by the once fashionable 
doctrine of independent origin. ”Charlevoix, in his essay 
on the origin of the Indians, states*', as Dr, Daniel 
Wilson has noted/ ” that P^rc Grellon, one of the French 
Jtesujt Fathers, met a Huron woman on the plains of 
Tartary, who had been sold from tribe to tribe, until she 
passed from the Behring Straits into Central Asia. By 
such Intercourse as this incident illustrates, it is not difli- 
cult,” comments Wilson, “to conceive of some inter¬ 
mixture of vocabularies; and that such migration has 

^ PriMmrU p. (ioaicD, 


taken place to a considerable extent fs proved by the 
itiEimate affinities between the tribes on both sides of the 
(Behring) Straits/’ 

An important link between the north-eastern Asiatic 
littoral and the Aleutian Islands and between these and 
America is afforded by the practice of mummification* 
The evidence in this connection has been closely examined 
by Professor G. Elliot Smithy the chief authority on the 
subject* During over nine years residence in Egypt he 
had unique opportunities, as Professor of Anatomy in the 
Government School of Medicine in Cairo, for studying 
the ancient practice of mummification. He has since 
extended his investigations to all parts of the world, and 
has found that “the practice of mummification has a 
geographical distribution exactly corresponding to the 
area occupied by the curious assortment of other practices 
just enumerated These practices include: 

“The building of megalithic monumefUa, the worship of the 
sun and serpent, the custom of pierctng the cars, the practice of 
circumcision, the curious custom known ascouvade, the practice of 
massage, the complex story of the creation, the deluge, Ehc petri¬ 
faction of human beings, the divine origin of Kings and a chosen 
people sprung from an incestuous union, the use of the swastika- 
symbol, the practice of cranial deforrnattort, jfc,” * 

EUiot Smith shows that the Eastern Asiatics, the 
Aleutian Islanders, and certain Red Indian tribes practised 
the same method of mummification* He deals as an 
anatomist with the evidence provided by H. C* Yarrow 
in his authoritative article, “A further Contribution to the 
Study of the North American Indians”,* ^ith the 
able summary by L* Re utter,® with regard to the practice 

^ ExlfErMt p. ^ {LoailQn^ ’ 9 ’ 

* Eirit Wpi^ii1i|fH;ni| tSflf p 


pf embalming among the Incas and other peoples of the 
New World- In addition he writes regarding Peruvian 
mummies he has himself examined. The following ex¬ 
tracts regarding embalming In the New World arc of 
special interest: 

“The custom of preserving the body was not general in every 
case, for amongst certain peoples only the bodies of Kings and 
cbiefe were embalmed. The Indian tribes of Virginia, of North 
Carolina, the Congarees of South Carolina, the Indians of the 
North-west coast of Central America and those of Florida practised 
this custom as well as the Incas/* 

Details are given regarding the methods of embalming 
practised by various tribes. In Kentucky, for instance, 
the body was dried and filled with fine sand, wrapped in 
skins or matting and buried either in a cave or hut. 

“In Columbia the inhabitants of Darien used tq remove the 
viscera and fill the body cavity with resin, afterwards they smoked 
the body and preserved it in their houses, . , , The Muiscas, the 
Aleutians, the inhabitants of Yucatan and Chlapa also embalmed 
the bodies of their kings, of their chiel^ and of thetr priests by 
methods similar to thc^ described, with modifications varying from 
tribe to tribe. . , . Alone amongst the people of the New World 
who practised embalming the Incas employed it not only for their 
Icings chicA, and priests, but also for the population in general. 
These people were not confined to Peru, but dwelt also in Bolivia, 
in Equador, as well as in a part of Chili and of the Argentine." 

The Virginian Indians removed the whole skin and 
afterwards fitted it on to the skeleton again. 

“Great care and skill had to be used to prevent the bkin 
shrinking. Apparently the difficulties of this procedure led certain 
Indian tribes to give up the attempt to prevent the skin shrinking. 
Thus the Jivaro Indians of Ecuador, as well as certain tribes in 
the Western Amazon area, make a practice of preserving the brad 
only, and, after removing the skull, allowing the softer ti^ues to 
shrink to a size not much bigger than a cricket-ball." 


(nriliiJi Mufc-utti} 

TljPi iciilptufH?d fidrtti -VL^ai urigiFtnlljf car veil da ihc unilrr tnlf of i Jdor lintel in une the 
iCTnj^ci of the great Mjv^ otjr lyf I'Hiehilah^ in lanthcTti MrKicti. A pficii tK\th 

Crremnnl^l ittlrf kl itowfl ml thr tefr, Piapen iltng a tilEwil-li-etllng CtrfmiitlV, jjtniibljf ^ 

Heuphyip, who II knecliitg al tlic rf^htr Nole (be gntgeoui dcUlLi nf she pi^Jeit'i CflUiumip. 
The ucnjtUyti^ wmely^ itii hatadinmi^V garbed, i* rrasagrd in lira wing blooil tram, bimirif 
by thfoiigh 1 flit in hii tangniE j liin|^ piect^ of cope wicH *barp tlWm fiileiacd to ii« 

A hippn gn the groundl mibci ttw drop# of blortHl » fall. 

L J 


Elliot Smith shoves that the practice of mummification 
had its origin in ancient Egypt and spread over a great 
part of the ancient world. In reply to the suggestions of 
those who believe It is natural^' that people should want to 
preserve their dead in this way^ he deals at some length 
with a Torres Straits mummy he examined In an Australian 
museum, !t yielded evidence of surgery of Egyptian 
origin^ and especially *^new methods introduced in Egypt 
in the XX 1 st Dynasty'' (1090^945 b,c.). The eastern 
practitioners wholly misunderstood “an elaborate technical 
operation'"1 and could not have Invented it.*' In ancient 
Egj'pt “it took more than seventeen centuries of constant 
practice and experimentation to acquire the methods ex¬ 
emplified in the Torres Straits mummies Associated 
With the practice of mummification In this and other areas 
arc many distinctive ceremonies and practices “as well 
as traditions relating to the people who introduced the 
custom of mummification^"* Dr. Haddon^ writing on 
" funeral ceremonies'" in the Torres Straits area,* says: 

“A hero-cuhj wiih masked performers and elaborate dances, 
spread From the pd^inboid of New Guinea to the adjacent islands; 
part of this movement seems to have Iwcn associated with a funeral 
ritual that emphasized a Life after deaths , ^ . Most of the funeral 
cEremonies and many sacred ^ngs admittedly came from die 

The evidence regarding embalming in East and West 
Africa and in the Canary Islands is similar to that obtained 
at various points between the Red Sea and Torres Straits^ 
"The technical procedures** in these African areas "were 
not adopted in Egypt until the time of the XX 1 st 
Dynasty** (p. 63). Langdon states with regard to eiii- 

* ElLUrt Snulla^ Tit af Emr^ pp, 3 1 ir 

' Rtf^ti if lit Ctm^r^Jp m TttrtM VoL VX,. 

p. 4S (CAral^fidft, 



balming m that it *‘15 not charactenstsc of 

Babylonian burials and the custom may be due to 
Egyptian influence'’. In India the ancient Aryans, who 
did not burn their dead, disembowelled the corpse and 
filled the cavity with ghee} Interesting evidence regard¬ 
ing methods of mu mm ideation has been gleaned from 
Burmah, Ceylon, south-eastern India, Tibet, Polynesia, 
&c., which will be found in Professor Elliot Smith's book.* 
He holds that the complex culture associated with mum¬ 
mification was carried from Indonesia " fu" out into the 
Pacific and eventually reached the American coast, where 
it bore fruit in the development of the great civilizations 
on the Pacific littoral and isthmus, whence it gradually 
leavened the bulk of the vast aboriginal population of the 

Pursuing his researches in quite another field Mr. 
Berthold Laufer, the well-known American Oriental 
scholar, dealing with the problem of plate armour in 
Ancient China, writes, after reviewing the evidence: 

^Altogether the impression remains that plate armour, the last 
offshoots of which wre encounter in the fiirchcsi north-east earner 
of Asia atui the farthest north-west of America, took its origin 
from Western Asia.”* 

As this conclusion is of far-reaching importance, it is 
necessary to review the evidence on which it is based. 
**The American savages”, writes O, T. Mason/ «werc 
acquainted with body armour when they were first en¬ 
countered. Wherever the elk, the moose, the bufliilo, 

^ MJtrit VeiL I| p, LonrlQEif 

■ tki Earif A 9/ /kt SipiifitMKi* a / /ht 

fl/ ^ ^ EvidiTnt tfiAM Mtgrjnini d/ W 

rAr 9/ Cwrotin Cunom Bififjj (LopT^iIMp J ^J. 

* Vyip I* p, z^r {Cili<jfc|D^ I9I4>)- 

* TAr Orfpm ^ ImvrmmM^ p, ^90, 


and other great land mammals abounded, there it was 
possible to cover the body with an impervious suit of 
raw hide.” Hide armour appears to have been nearly 
everywhere in North America, even in the eastern area”^ 
as Laufer says, ^^the oldest form of body protection in 
war”. As in the case of mummification, customs varied 
between tribes. The Thompson River Indians, for 
instance, had wooden cuirass covered with elk hide”. 
Some Indians strengthened their armour with wooden 
slatSj or rcedsj or bone-plates* " No fundamental dEffer- 
ence", comments Laufer, "can be found in the employ¬ 
ment of wood, and bone or ivorj^ which simply present 
purely technical changes of material/^ 

Plate armour was known to the Chinese and the 
Japanese, but there is evidence to show that it was used 
in America in pre-Japanese times. The Eskimo people 
used plate armour as did also the Su-shfn, an ancient 
people of north-eastern Asia. Here we touch on the 
relations between the inhabitants of the latter area and 
America. Lamfer accepts and emphasises the view that 
the culture types of north-eastern Asia 

u strong and p;anonnccd characteristics which have hardly 
any parallels in the rest of the Asiatic World, and that owing to 
geographical conditions the entire area has remained purer and 
mote intact from outside currents than any other culture group 
in Asia. The profound researches of Bogors-s and jtx^heiaon have 
shown us that in language, folk-lore, religion and maiertal culture, 
the affinities of the Chukchi, Koryak, Yukagir, and KamchaedaJ, 
go with Amcrlcam, not with Asiatics^’ (p. ^67). 

This view is of special interest in so far as it esta- 
blishea the fact that there was culture contact in ancient 
times between north-cast Asia and America. The 
evidcnee aBbrded by mummification cannot, however, be 
overlooked. Withal, there Is other evidence of far-reach- 



ing importance. Mr. E. Kebic Chatterton ‘ refers to Mr, 
Vhclson’s account of Koryak boats which they use on 
the Sea of Okhotsk in the north-west Pacific, and shows 
that their craft retain remarkable similarities to those of 
Anoent Egypt; 

“Thus, b«idcs copying the ancients in steering with an oar, 
the foTMud of the prow of their sailing-boats terminates in a fork 
through which the harpoon-lirc is passed, this fork being sometimes 
carved wnh a human face which they believe will serve as a pro¬ 
ctor of the boat. Instead of rowlocks they have, like the early 
CTptians ihong-loops, through which the oar or paddle is inserted, 
Ihctr sail, too^ is a fwtangular shape of dressed reindeer skins 
tewed together. Bui it is their mast that is especially like the 
E^'ptians and Burmese. . . . Possibly it came from Egypt m 
India and China and so further north to the Sea of Okhotsk,’* 

Dr. Rentlel Harris, working in another sphere, has 
accumulated much important evidence to show that beliefs 
connected with Ivy and mugwort, and the deities associated 
with these plants, drifted eastward through Siberia and 
reached the Kamchatdal. Krasheninnikoff, one of the 
firet Russian explorers in Siberia, wrote an account of 
his travels during the years 1733-43- A French trans¬ 
lation of this work entitled, ra SiiMe, emunant k 

de^imtthatka was published In Paris in 1768 . 
Ur. Rendel Hams referring to it,* says that “there are 
two i^iols m the underground KamchaLadal dwelling, one 
o which IS in the shape of a woman, with her lower half 

^atkans to the lovely pair of Dionyslac herms in the 
House of the VetCii at Pompeii ”, and continues: 

“Hardly l«s interesting than the Ivy-cUd pillar and the 

Ti* ^ pjj. 


as&oci^icd hcrm h the female goddess vlth fish tentiinadon. 
Archeologists will at once begin to recall the vanous fish fornis 
of Greek and OnentaJ reLigions, the Dagon and Dcrceto of the 
Philistines, the Oannes of ihe Assyrians, Eurynome of the Greek 
legends and the like. . , * The discovery of the primitive sanctity 
of ivy, and mugworE, and fTListletoe^ makes a strong link between 
the early Greek and other early peoples^ both East and West,” 

As we shall findj the mugwort goddess reached Mexico. 

The ebb and flow of cultural influences between 
America and north-eastern Asia have yet to be fully 
investigated. There can be little doubt* however, that 
seaferers were active in ancient times and absolutely none 
that the vessels they used were of Egypto-Asiatic origin. 
The sea-boat was an Egyptian Invention, and was passed 
on from people to people, and country to country, until 
it ultimately reached America.^ 

Evidence has been forthcoming from China to throw 
light on the activities of at least one active and influential 
seafaring people in the area under consideration. They 
were known to the ancient Chinese as the Su-shin and 
the Yi-lou. It is of importance to note that the Su-sh 4 n 
used hide armour and bone armour. is a remarkable 
fact”, says Laufer* *^that the Chinese do not ascribe bone 
armour to any other of the numerous tribes, with whom 
they became familiar during their long history, and whose 
culture they have described to us." The characteristic 
arms of the tribe were ** wooden bows, stone crossbows, 
hide and bone armour”. They had withal, stone axes 
which played a Wile in their religious worship'*.® 

Laufer refers to the Su-shSn as the Vikings of the 
East"* They occupied an area to the north-east of 
China, “beyond the boundaries of Korai"* The northern 

" See for «rTi[|cj3c^i, and ChAfliir II. 

' CJkiwtM Cljf pp- 


limit of their country is unknown. In the seventh cen¬ 
tury of our era their sea-raids and sea-battles made them 
notorious in Japan and China. ** For a thousand years 
prior to that time'’, says Laufer, "the Chinese were 
acc^uainted with this tribe and its peculiar culture, , . , 
From Chinese records we can establish the fact that the 
Su-sh^n lived through a stone age for at least fifteen 
hundred years down to the Middle Ages, when they 
became merged in the great flood of roaming Tungusian 

The Su-shin were traders as well as pirates. In the 
third century of our era they carried iron armour as 
tribute to the Chinese. Laufer writes in this connection: 

"As the Sii-sli£n were not able to inaJte iron armour, not 
being acquainted with the technique of smelting and forging iron, 
they consequently must have received it in the channel of tradj 
frorn an iron-producing region, such as we find in ancient times 
in the interior of Siberia, in Central Asia, and, in the heginnine of 
our era, also in Korea,”’ ° 

Llufer emphasites this aspect of the problem in opposition 
to the view that American cultures ever had any relation 
with Japan, and continues: 

"The threads of historical connection running from America 
into Asia do not terminate in Japan, but first of all, as far as the 
times of antiquity are concerned, in a territory which may be 
dcftiied as the northern parts of modem Manchuria and Korea, 
I*rom ancient times the varied population of this region has shared 
to some extent in the cultural elements which go to mate up the 
characteristic of the North Pacific culture-province. It does not 
suffice for the study of American-Asiatic relations to tike into 
considctation only the present ethnological conditions, as has been 

done, but the ancient ethnology of that region must first be 



The bone armour evidence is of undoubted importance in 
establishing the existence of culture contact b^wcen the 
New and Old Worlds* This is brought out clearly when 
we iind Laufer writingi 

** Bonc-pl:itc armour anciently in thcr western part of 

the Old World among Scythian tribes; and this case shows 
in regard to north-cast Astatic and American bonc-platc armour^ 
we Hired not resort to the theory of explaining it as an imitadon 
of iron in bone.^* 

An important discussion on the Su^hin wUl be found in 
the Trat^iacihm 0/ ih€ Socie^ q/ Japan} Parker 

shows that the Su-shfin inhabited holes dug in the 
ground, depth marking high status in the occupant”. 
They had thus habits of life similar to the mysterious 
Koro-pok-guru of Japan, Their arrow-heads were *‘madc 
of green stone”* Red and green jade were valued by 
them^ and they occasionally sent their jade to China. 
This fiict should be borne in mind when we find that 
jodeite was so highly prized by the Mexicans and was 
associated with Chalchilcuitlicue, the goddess consort of 
the rain god Tlaloc, whose mountain-seat was Mugwort 
Mountain”* The Su-shin sacrificed the spiritual 
powers, the gods of the land and the stars. They 
worshipped Heaven in the tenth moon. . * . In the cast 
of their ssate there was a great cave called Sui-sMn^ to 
which they all went on a pilgrimage also in the tenth 
moon*" Of an East-Korean people it was recorded by 
the Chinese that ^^they knew how to observe the stars, 
ajid could prophesy the abundance or scarcity of the year. 
They always sacrificed to Heaven in the tenth moon, 
when they drank wine, sang, and danced night and day; 
this was called * dancing to Heaven** They also sacrificed 

1 V&L XYiEl, pfL, ij]? “ On Stru||lpii ia bf El+ H. 


to the tiger, which the^ considered a spiritual power,” 

Another group of ancient people in Southern Korea 
**esteemed pebbles and pearls” but did not value gold. 
References are made to tattooing in this area and to a 
custom well known in America^ which is referred to as 
follows: “ When a son was born they liked to flatten his 
head and alwap pressed it with stones”. Boats were 
used ** for immigration ” in this area. There are references 
to «stone men” in Korea, The Shik-i-ki (a Chinese 
work) speaks of human stone statuary in the “Dark Sea”, 
The pt-yaȣ^ Tsah-m speaks of a stone man fifteen feet 
in height in the state, and of a stone man which 

used to frighten tigers away on a mountain called SSa- 


The Japanese sacred writings echo "in a bewildering 
medley”, as Laufer says, “continental-Asiatic and MalaycS 
Polynesian traditions’V In like manner we find a medley 
of imported customs and beliefs in Korea and the area to 
the north and ^fiorth-cast of it, in which traces of Asiatic 
and American Influences have been found. The sea&ring 
Su-sh^ns traded with Siberia, and their bone armour passed 
into Amerrca where it was imitated by Red Indian tribes. 
Boats of Egyptian type were in use in the North Pacific 
In Korea the custom prevailing in Easter Island of erects 
ing stone men was introduced, apparently by early sea¬ 
farers. The same custom obtained in Indonesia, Single 
menhi^ (standing stones) associated with Dolmens at 
Kopa had each “ the form of a man ”, The faces “ re¬ 
sembled slightly those of the Images on Easter Island”.® 

VV e cannot foil to recognize the immense and wide¬ 
spread influence exercised in ancient times by seaforine 
peoples, who went fkr and wide in search of precioul 

' Cl^tj p, 

* Peny, TAr p, 


things, and introduced new modes of life and thought in 
various isolated regions. In north-eastern Asia their cul¬ 
ture met and mingled with the cultures that drifted from 
Siberia. That the Su-sh^^n and other peoples like them 
carried cultural elements into America, the evidence 
afforded by bone-plate armour and mummification leaves 
little doubt. But it was not in this area alone that 
a connection between the New and Old World can be 
traced. In the next chapter it will be shown that other 
routes were available for the drift of Asiatic influences 
into America, and that the cumulative evidence in this 
connection is of a striking character. 


Sea Routes of Ancient Pacific Mariners 

The ChiDCK Hj'potheii*—“ Blood Bag " Mjth In Chim and Anwdca— 
MignL[LDni icrcui ^hniig Sinli— Aflatic MomekiKi of the Indiini — 

Black Cumnt Route JkCrOiA —S^irAilir Butldfiiit Myihi and Picrum lo 

Japan and McKico^Polyaceian RouEc tu America—Similar Boati in Pcil^tiEtk 
and Ameri<3i—Phofiiician Tnca m PalyTioiU—SoIomDn^i Sa Trade—^Im¬ 
port* from Maky Siaic of Pahing—Andent Cclcnles in Far Kait—Armenoidi 
icajched Po1)Tin;Ea—Pearl aod Shell Bdieli ajid CiUEorm lEt Old and Naw 
Worid^-<^Pa|yne3iaEu and AmeriQUi Ecuidied Ibr WcLL of Life and Earth ly 
Puaduc—Sctrdi for the “ Pknt of Life*. 

It has been urged by some writers that China was the 
chief source of pre-Columbian civilization in America. 
A number of interesting links have been deUiled to sup¬ 
port this hypothesis. One, which has not hitherto been 
noted, may here be referred to. In the half-mythical 
Chinese annals it is told of Wu-yth, one of the last kings 
of the Dynasty of Shang, who is supposed to have rul^ 
from 1198 till 1194 B.C., that he made an Image of a man, 
which he called *‘thc Spirit of Heaven” and "gamed 
with it”—^that is, he played dice or some game resem¬ 
bling chess with the image or its priest. When the 
image was- unsuccessful, Wu-yih "disgraced it”, and 
made a leather bag which he filled with blood. He had 
the bag " placed aloft ” and shot at it, and he called this 
** shooting at Heaven One day he was killed by 
lightning, and the people regarded the tragic event as the 
just and appropriate vengeance of Heaven.* 

I p. ^6^ 



It would appear that Wu favoured some old heretical 
cult which had been introduced into China, and was ulti¬ 
mately suppressed and forgotten. Herodotus (Book II, 
Chapter 122) tells that Pharaoh Rhampsinitus of Egypt 
played dice with the goddess Ceres, ""sometimes winning 
and sometimes suffering defeat": the event led to the 
founding of a special festival, the significance of which is 

The shooting at gods for the purpose of subduing 
them is referred to in the Hindu classic, the Mah 4 ~hhdraig, 
A king shot hundreds of arrows into the ocean, the god 
of which rose and exclaimed, “Do not, O hero, shoot 
thy shafts (at me)! Say, what shall 1 do to thee. With 
these mighty arrows shot by thee those creatures which 
have taken shelter in me are being killed, O tiger among 
Kings. Do thou, O lord, grant' them securily."» The 
ancient Celts likewise cast weapons into the sea. Evi¬ 
dently the shooting at the blood hag had a ritualistic 

It is of special interest to find the blood bag among 
the Indians of Nicaragua who had emigrated from Mexico, 
When they sacrificed to the deities of the deer and rabbit, 
they collected the clotted blood of a slaughtered animal 
and wrapped it in a doth, which was placed in a basket 
and suspended in the air. A ceremony of this kind is not 
likely to have been of independent origin in China and 
America. But it does not follow that it passed into 
America from China. The Chinese and the Indians of 
Nicaragua in all probability received it and the associ¬ 
ated beliefs from the carriers of ancient culture, who 
followed various routes across the Old World and 
towards the New. In China the blood-bag offering 
was connected with a custom that obtained in India, 

* ^rtiao 3QCIX, tlAku 1*5, 


and was acquired by the Celts from some unldcntificti 

The Chinese were an a^^rian people. They did not 
take to the sea before the earliest elements of pre-Colum¬ 
bian dvillzation had taken root in America. Before they 
began to build junks^ their coasts had been visited by 
maritime peoples who likewise visited Japan^ where the 
pre-Ainu culture of the Koro-pok-guru flourished for 
a time; these maritime peoples also settled around the 
Sea of Okhotsk, where the Koryaks still have boats 
resembling those invented by the Ancient Egyptians. 
Chatterton, as has been noted, thinks that these Koryak 
vessels passed originally ‘*from Egypt to India and 
China, and so farther north to the Sea of Okhotsk”.^ 
Apparently the ancestors of the Koryaks acquired their 
knowledge of boat-building and navigation from more 
highly civilized peoples, who in ancient times were 
attracted to their gold-yielding area. 

As we have seen, the evidence afforded by mummifi¬ 
cation, bone-protected armour, &c., indicates that there 
were racial and cultural drifts across the Behring Strait 
and by the Aleutian Islands route to the New World- 
These commenced at an early period and apparently were 
connected with racial movements in Central Asia and 
Siberia, Professor Elliot Smith has traced the Red Indians 
to their original homeland in the Trans-Caspian area. 
“Not far from the head-waters of the Yenesie”, he writes, 
“their kinsmen still persist.”* This area was reached at 
an early period by prospectors from centres of ancient 
civilization in quest of precious metals and gems. Their 
operations had far-reaching results. Apparently their 
influence was felt in the Shensi province of China as far 

^ Sif/iitg SAi^ mmf lirir pp. j> 

® lAw VoL XXXIII (l5l7)p It* 



back as T70C3 b.c. It appears to have permeated north¬ 
east ecti Asia too^ and set in motion race movements that 
remain exceedingly obscure. 

The northern racial drift from Asia to America appears 
to have been constant and steady. It has left its impress 
on the physical characters of the vast majority of the 
aboriginal inhabitants of the New World. But, from 
a cultural point of view, the more important intrusions 
were those of the seafarers who crossed the Pacific by 
way of Oceania and the Black Current route from Japan, 
Like intruding minorities elsewhere, these mariners and 
prospectors appear to have revolutionized the social life 
of the people among whom they settled, although their 
physical impress may have been slight and less permanent. 
Immigrant peoples writes Dr, Haddon, “ may bring 
a culture and a language permanently affecting the 
conquered peoples, yet the aboriginal population, if 
allowed to survive in sufficient numbers, will eventually 
impair the racial purity of the new-comers, and there is 
a tendency for the indigenous racial type to reassert itself 
and become predominant once more.” * 

The Black Current" or “ Black Stream ’* (JOrre 
Stu/d) flows steadily in a northerly direction along the 
eastern coast of Japan, and then sweeps In a curve towards 
the west coast of North America, Japanese vessels have 
frequently been carried along this current, ”The January 
monsoons from the north-east”, writes Bancroft, "are apt 
to blow any unlucky coaster which happens to be out 
straight into the Kuro Shoo.** The vessels are drifted 
either to the Sandwich Islands or to North America, 
** where they scatter along the coast from Alaska to 
California". Cases have been recorded of Japanese junks 
being carried by the Black Current to America in his- 

^ TJk /f'Mifj'inp ^ PnjiUxj. ^ 5* 



Corical times. Bancroft, summarizing the evidence of 

Brooks and others In this connection^ writes: 

“ In a majority of cases the survi vors remained permanendy at 
the place where the Waves had brought thtm+ . . A great many 

Japanese words arc to be found m the Chinook jargon, but in alL 
cases abbreviated;, as if coming from a foreign source. ... How 
many years this has been going on can only be left to conjecture.'^ 

Bancroft inclines to attach importance to the views of 
Mr, Brooks, who accounts for the similarities existing 
between the Californian Indians and the Japanese “ by 
a constant infusion of Japanese blood and customs, through 
a series of yearSj sufficient to modify the original stock 
wherever that came from 

Japan itself was subjected to several racial intrusions 
before its historical period opened. The Koro-pok-guru,^ 
a seafaring people, were earlier settlers than the Ainu, 
and the Ainu were followed by Koreans and Malayans. 
It may well be that a proportion of the early navigators, 
who were bound for Japan from the .south or from the 
Chinese coasts, were carried to America by the Black 
Current* Bancroft writes further on this aspect of the 

** Viollct-lc-Duc points out some striking resemblances between 
the temples of Japan and Ccniral America, It is asserced that the 
people of Japan had a knowledge of the American continent and 
that it was marked down on their maps. Montanus tells us that 
three ship captains, named Henrik Cornelis'/oon, Sthaep, and 
Wilhelm ByIrveld, were taken prisoners by the Japanese and 
carried to Jeddo, where they were shown a sea-chart on whtch 
America was drawn as a mountainous country adjoining Tartary 
on the north* Of course the natives (of north-western America) 
have the usual tradition that strangers came among them long 
before the advent of the Europeans* There were in Colirornla at 

^ Tkt Rata a/ tk§ Stam 1/ Norik jim*rk*, VoL V, pf. 5^-3- 


the time of the (Spaniih) conquest Indians of various races, some of 
the Japanese type.*' ^ 

In a lecture delivered before the British Association 
in 1894^ Professor E. B, Tylor dealt with art important 
link between Japan and Mexico," This distinguished 
anthropologist showed that the conception of weighing 
the heart of the dead in the Judgment Hall of Osiris 
made its earliest appearance in Ancient Egypt, It could 
be traced thence “ into a series of variants, serving to 
draw lines of intercourse through the Vedic and Zoro- 
astrian religions extending from Easrern Buddhism to 
Western Christendom”* Tylor continued: 

**The a^ciated doctrine of the Bridge of the Dead, which 
separates the good^ who over, from the wicked^ who fall into 
die abyss, appKjars first in Anctciic Persian religion, reaching in 
like manner lo the extremides of Asia and Europe* By these 
mythical bcUefe historical tics arc practically constituted^ connect¬ 
ing the great religions of ihe world, and serving as lines along 
which their interdependence is lo be folbwed out,"' 

Tylor then dealt with the Asiatic influences “ under 
which the pre-Colum bum culture of America took shape”, 
and showed that 

"In the religion of old Mexico four great scenes in the 
journey of the »ul in the land of the dead are mentioned by 
early Spanish writers after the conquest, and arc depicted in a 
group in tile Aztec picture-writifig known as the Vatican Codex. 
The four scenes are, first, the crossirig of the river; second, the 
fearfijl passage of the soul hetween the two mountains which 
dash together; third, the souPs cliirLbirig up the mountain set 
with sharp obsidian knives; fourth, the dangers of the wind 
carxy'ing such knives on its blast,” 

* BanCrvftp pp, 53* jnil Note 114. 

the of M^thifjl Belit* a EirideflCe in tbe tt[ftary of CuSlgre** 

{Xfpitr n/ tki SrimJk AuxLmirt^ 7?4h 



Professor Tylor showed these four Mexican pictures^ 
and also more or less dosely-corrc$ponding pictures of 
Buddhist hells or purgatories from Japanese temple 
scrolls^ In the latter: 

“ First, the river of death is shown, where the souls wade 
across; second, the souls have to pass between two huge iron 
mountains, which are pushed together by two demons; third, the 
guilty souls climb the mountain of knives^ whose blades cut their 
hani^ and feet; fourth, fierce blasts of wind drive against their 
lacerated forms the blades of knives flying through the air 

Tylor argued that ” the appearance of analogues so close 
and complex of Buddhist ideas in Mexico constituted a 
correspondence of so high an order as to preclude any 
explanation except direct transmission from one religion 
to another 

It does not necessarily follow that the Japanese carried 
the doctrines illustrated by the Mexican pictures to the 
New World. Both Japan and Mexico may have received 
them from a common source. 

The Oceanic or Polynesian route to America appears 
to have been one along which profound cultural influences 
were carried. Among the Polynesians have been detected 
physical traits that connect them with the natives of India 
and the Malay Peninsula, and even with the Armenoids 
of Western Asia and with the Mediterranean race. Their 
legends are full of accounts of their long sea voyages, and 
there is much evidence to show that they originally passed 
from Indonesia to their coral islands. They reached 
Easter Island on the cast and Madagascar on the west. 

William Ellis, the well-known missionary and author 
of Tolynesinn Reiearchts^ has commented on the coinci¬ 
dences in language, mythology, &c., of the Polynesians 

^ London (lit edition}, Jl£^ VaL It, pp. jy j*f. 





with those of the Hindus^ the natives of Madag^ar, 
and the Americans. He mentions a tradition that 

the first inhabitants of the South Sea Islands originally came 
from a country in the direction of the setting sim, to which they 
say several names were given, chough none of them are remem¬ 
bered by the present inhabicants’^, 

and notes that Bishop Heber^ an authority on the HinduS| 
stated that many things which he saw among the inhabi¬ 
tants of India reminded him of the plates in G?fli J , 

Ellis considered, however, that ** the points of resemblance 
between the Polynesians and the Malayan inhabitants of 
Java, Sumatra, and Borneo, and the I^dronc, Caroline, 
and Philippine Islands are still greater”, and wrote further 
in this connection: 

“There arc also many points of resemblance tn language, 
manners, atid customs between the Soutli Sea Islanders and the 
inhabitants of Madagascar in the westj ihe tnhabiiants of tlie 
Aleutian and Kurile Islands in the north, , . . and also between 
the Polynesians aiKl the inKabitants of MexIcd and some parts of 
South America* The general cast of feature, and frequent shade 
of complexion, the practice of tatooing which prevails among the 
Alcucians and some tribes of America, the process of embalming 
the dead bodies of their chiefs and prErserving them unintcrrcd, the 
gam,c of chess among the Araucanians, the word for God being 
trtv or feu, the exposure of children, ihcir games, their mode of 
dressing hair, ornamenting it with feathers; the numerous words 
in their Language resembling those of Tahiti, kc.i thdr dress, 
especially the poncho; and even the legpnd of the origin of the 
Incas, bear no small resemblance to that of Tci, who was also 
descended from the sun.”^ 

The Polynesians were in the habit of maJemg long 
sea voyages. Even in Ellis's time voyages of from 400 

^ EliU, ^ ut, Vot II, ^ +6p 



to 700 miles were not uncommon, as he records. Mr. 
Elsdon Best* has shown “how the Maori explored the 
Pacific Ocean and laid down the sea roads for all time 
In his important monograph he deals at length with their 
vessels, their methods of navigation, their stores of food 
and water, and the reasons why they went on voyages of 
exploration. From the Samoan Islands, one of which 
was apparently the Hawaiki of their legends, the Poly¬ 
nesians reached and peopled New Zealand to the south 
and Hawaii to the north* A section of the inhabitants 
of Easter Island came from the Solomon Islands * Indeed, 
within the area covered by the South Sea Islands, the 
Polynesians vo^ged more than twice the distance that 
separates their islands from the American continent. Is 
it possible that, having reached Hawaii, the Marquesas, 
and Easter Island, they could have missed the Galapagos 
Islands off the coast of South America and the moun¬ 
tainous land beyond ? When we find that the pre- 
Columbian Americans had so many customs and beliefs 
in rammon with the Polynesians, and that they used 
similar boats, in which they reached and peopled the West 
Indies, the theory that they never discovered or could 
have discovered America seems hazardous and uncon¬ 

Dr. O, Macdonald of the New Hebrides mission, who 
has found traces of Phoenician influence in the Oceanic 
languages, writes regarding the South Sea mariners: 

“From whatever poini the Oceanic race migrated into the 
Island world, they did so in sea-going vessels, and we may reason- 
ably infer thai before doing so they were habitually in possession 

uad ilidr VeiKLi^ 

Vol, SCtVlII {1916), pi 4+7, 

"WtiteTTelt, HanMut 141$^ pp. i±, 

■ RouEJ#d|t* TJti JUfiSwwj tf £aiJMr ppp *94-1^ 


of such vcscts^ or were a sia-going, commercial people, as for the 
most part they are to-Hjay”.’ 

He refers to the fleets of Solomon, which were manned 
by Phocnkiatis, and, according to Josephus, reached the 
Malay Pemnsula. The reason why Solomon went into 
the shipping trade, which had been established before his 
time, is revealed by the Biblical details of the things he 
imported. From Ophir his Phoenician mariners fetched 
gold (/ KimgSj ix, 28), and “algum-trces and precious 
stones” C/iTvttkUit i*, 10)- They made long voyagest 

" For the king’s ships went to Tarshish with (he servants of 
Hiram; every three years once came the ships ofTarshish, bringing 
gold, and silver, ivory, and apes, and peacocks" ChrtnkUif 
ix, 21). 

It has been suggested that Tarshish was in Spain, but 
that country does not possess apes and peacocks. The 
peacocks and apes and ivory appear to have come from 
the east, and apparently from the land referred to by 
Josephus as /ftirea CAmmeiuSj "which", as he noted, 
"belongs to India". It is of special interest, therefore, 
to find Sir Hugh Clifford* referring to "the recent dis¬ 
covery in the Malayan state of Pahang—the home of 
apes and ivory and peafowl—ot immense gold-mines of 
very ancient date, and of a workmanship that has no 
counterpart in South-eastern AsiaHe considers that 
this discovery supplies an ample reason for the designa¬ 
tion * golden’ so long applied to the Chersonese". 

Ophir appears to have been a market or trading port 
in Arabia to which the wealth of the countries yielding 
precious metals and stones, pearls, &c., was carried in 
ancient times by enterprising mariners. These mariners 

■ Tkt OiMw [LtandDD, 190^), pp. 4 tt up 

*FuriAif p. ip 


searched for metals, jewels, herbs, ificense-ylelding trees, 
flee., that had a religious value and therefore a commercial 
value. They founded colonies that became centres from 
which the elements of ancient civilization radiated. Their 
arts and crafts and their religious beliefs and customs were 
acquired by various alien peoples, and from the different 
centres of civilization that were established the colonists 
and their mixed descendants went on voyages of explora¬ 
tion, and reached Sumatra, Java, Borneo, the Philippines, 
Formosa, Japan, the coasts of China, and even as fir north 
as the Koryak country round the sea of Okhotsk; they 
also passed by way of the Celebes towards New Guinea 
and the South Sea Islands. India was permeated by their 
influence long before it was invaded by Aryans. After 
the Aryans came into touch with the Dravidian civiliza¬ 
tion they passed from their Vcdic to their Brahmanic stage 
of religious culture. 

Professor Elliot Smith, who notes that in the course 
of their wanderings the ancient mariners became inter¬ 
mingled with Ethiopians and Arabs and Indians and 
Malays , draws attention to the fact, already referred to, 
that “ the substratum of the original stock that populated 
Polynesia was composed of sailors from the Mediterranean 
and the Persian Gulf, into whose constitution the enter¬ 
prising southern branch of the Armenoid race entered so 
largely”, and writes: 

The wandering mariners were themselves the colonizers of 
Polynesia, which therefore became the most exclusively maritime 
population in the history of the world” 

A proportion of the wanderers were induced, like the 
lotus-eaters of Homeric legend, to settle on coral islands, 
but, says Professor Elliot Smith, referring to the main 
‘'wave” of prospecting mariners: 


“If we can judge of their behaviour elsewhcfCt we may assume 
that, as they visited island after island of Polynesia, without dis^ 
covering either gold or pearls, they did not stay, but pushed on 
firthcr in the quest of such riches. . , , The mare energetic 
and enterprising of the wanderers . . . pushed on until they got 
their reward as the pioneers of the civilization of the Old World 
in America,"^ 

Traces of the ancient pearl-searchers survive itx 
Hawaiian traditions, pbee-names, and religious beliefs. 
The natives have their dragons with pearls, their “ P&rl 
Harbour”, their dragon-stones, and even their N^-like 
fcptile goddess who lives in a ** large deep pool . Ha¬ 
waiian dragon-lore closely resembles that of China and 
Japan, and the N 3 ga-iore of India.* 

Mr. Wilfrid Jackson has shown* that the ancient 
mariners who searched for pearls and pearl-shell, which 
had a religious value, reached America, and that the shell 
and pearl beliefs and customs in the New World were 
identical with those of the Old World- In my first 
chapter of this book the identity of the New and Old 
World beliefs and customs connected with gold is dealt 
with in detail. Professor Elliot Smith, the greatest 
living authority on mummification, affords proof, as has 
been shown, in his T/ie ujT Early that 

the mummification customs and beliefs in different parts 
of the Old World provide important evidence regarding 
the spreading of these into America, 

In the next chapter the water-burial customs of the 
Old and New Worlds are dealt with. These, it would 
appear, were connected with the search for the Well of 

^ ^fAi- VbL 3 CXXHI PP' 

S« Fft/ ^Cismm Mmd in 

* jjSe Migrdlifv ^ Eoflj Lqadui, 1^171 


Ltf<£ and the Earthly Paradise.^ The Polynesians pro¬ 
secuted this iIT)memorial search. Ellis refers in this 
connection to * the Plawaiian account of the voyage of 
Kampapiikai to the land where the inhabitants enjoyed 
perpetual health and youthful beauty, where the wui ont 
(life-giving fountain) removed every internal malady, and 
every external deformity or paralysed decrepitude, from 
all those who were plunged beneath its salutary waters 'V 
He notes that the expedition, “which led to the discovery 
of Florida, was undertaken not so much from a desire to 
explore unknown countries, as to find an cquaUy cele¬ 
brated fountain, described in a tradition prevailing among 
the inhabitants of Puerto Rico, as existing in Bininl, one 
of the Lucayo Islands. It was said to possess such 
restorative powers as to renew the youth and vigour of 
every person who bathed in its waters,”* 

^hagun relates an American tradition that the ances¬ 
tors of the Nahua, who founded pre-Columbian civilization 
in Mexico, crossed the seas in vessels searching for the 
Earthly Paradise. “ In coming south to seek the Earthly 
Paradise , we read, “these men certainly did not deceive 
themselves, for it is the opinion of those that know that 
It is under the equinoctial line; and in thinking that It 
ought to be a high mountain they are also not mistaken, 
for, so say the writers, the Earthly Paradise is under the 
equmoctid line, and it is a very high mountain whose 
summit almost touches the moon. It appears that these 
men or their ancestors had consulted an oracle on this 
matter, either a god or a demon, or they possessed an 
anaent tradition that had been handed down."* 

As in the Old World, the peoples who reached 

1 mil "*!! “ Writ af Life ” 1 . 

• £llii, PbI^vum Val. 11, pp, ' 

*OyaUJ in VyL XXXIJ, Me, j, p. 174. 


America searched also for the ** Plant of Life as did 
Gilgamesh in the Babylonian epic^ including^ as will be 
shown, the milk-yielding plant and the mugwort of the 
mother goddess. 

These and other links between the pre-Columbian 
Americans and the peoples of Asia, North Afeica, and 
Europe, cannot be ignored. The cumulative effect of the 
evidence is to support the view that New World civiliza¬ 
tion was not of spontaneous generation. 


Water Burials and the Ship of Death 

Ram and Cuittpm»_Cutium changed hy TncroiliD^ 

Indiic Well and Ri¥er Bufiala— Th« Voyajp w Pamdiie—Cradle.bMtt in 

New and Old Warkti — ^Waier Hunalf m Oceania —Life by Waicf 

The lunar Well of Ufc—Person Gulf Water Bunali^A&i«n and Enropejm 
CuBiqini—Guatemala Lake Bumla—Cauoe Bunalv—Canoe u Bird Foms ol 

Mother Goddeq — Bifd-fhaped Ship nfD^th in Bevneo and Ainmca_Ship 

of Death in Egypt and Europe ^Hiitory of Bird^haped Ship. 

Evidence of ancient race and culture “drifting” is ob¬ 
tained from the burial customs of pre-Columbian America. 
These would appear to show that there were various 
drifts at various periods from Asiatic culture areas. It 
docs not follow that each particular custom was intro¬ 
duced by a different people. Religious beliefe^ like 
languages, cannot be regarded as sure indications of racial 
affinities. « Red ”, “ Yellow ”, « Black ”, and » White ” 
men do not change their skins when they change their 
beliefs. The carriers of a particular culture may bear 
little physical resemblance to the people among whom It 
originated. Nor need they constitute a majority in the 
area in which the imported culture is adopted. In¬ 
truding minorities have, in various parts of the world, 
changed languages at one time or another j intruding 
minorities have in like manner changed religious beliefs, 
as did the Buddhists who reached China and Japan. In 
wme cases it is found that a particular burial custom 
is confined to the ruling class or to the chief and his 



family* An intruding minority dung to their custom 
of mummifying or burning their dead, but the con¬ 
quered continued to perpetuate the custom favoured by 
their ancestors. Irt some cases the imported custom is 
found to have been influenced by the local custom* A 
people who buried their dead in a crouched position 
adopted mummification, but, instead of laying out the 
bodies as did the Ancient Egyptians, tied them up in a 
crouching position as they did before mummification m'as 
introduced. In other cases it will be found that after 
being embalmed the body was cremated. 

One of the interesting burial customs found among 
the North American Indians is the " water burialThe 
dead were disposed of by sinking in springs or water 
courses^ by throwing into the sea, or by setting afloat in 
canoes”* Water burial was, like other burial customs, 
an expression of a religious system of which other traces 
survive, and, like mummificatjon, was not peculiar to pre- 
Columbian America* 

The Red Indian tribe of Goshutes in the Great Salt 
Lake Valley, favoured water burial* Captain J* H* 
Simpson has provided interesting evidence in this con¬ 

“Stull Vallc)', which w part of the Great Salt Desert^ 
and which we have cro&scd today, Mr* George W* Bean, my 
guide over this route last fall, says, derives its name from the 
number of stulls which have been found in it, and which have 
arisen from the custom of the Goshute Indians Wryniig dicir dead 
in spring which they sink wfih stones or keep down with sticks. 
He says he has actudly seen the Indians bury their dead in this 
way near the town of Provo, where he resides.*^ 

Captain Simpson himself found a skeleton at the bottom 

* Cftat Lrilr 11^9^ p, 48^ qturted ia Fmi AwjridI 

SuftdM af Ethx^^^ WHKmftVII^ iSSXf p. lUl. 




of a spring. It had to be dug out of the mud before 
the water could be used. This proceeding was rendered 
necessary because in that country water is scarce, and 
Indians took care not to pollute the wells they used for 
ordinary purposes. It cannot be held therefore that in 
their case water burial resulted front indolence or oirc- 
lessness, or because water was plentiful. They were 
evidently perpetuating a custom that had arisen elsewhere, 
and did so in response to the inexorable dictates of a 
religious system that involved serious inconvenience to 
themselves; indeed, by limiting the number of wells that 
could be used, a real sacrifice was involved. 

The Chinook custom is of special interest, it is 
given by Mr. George Catlin,^ who saw a woman launch¬ 
ing a burial canoe**, which was a little cradle containing 
the body of a baby. 

“This little cradle has a strap which pASS£S over ihe weman's 
forehead whilst the cntdEc rides ori her back,, and If the child dies 
during its subjwitOR to this ngid mode, its cradle becomes its 
coffin, forming a little canpe^ in which it hes floating on the water 
in some sacred pool^ where they are often in the habit of fastening 
ihcir canoes containing the dead bodies of the old and young,, or, 
which h often the case, clcvaicd into the branches of trees, where 
their bodies are left to decay and their bones to dry whilst they 
arc bandaged in many skins and cuiioiisly packed in their canoes, 
with paddles to propel and ladles to bale them out, and provisions 
to last and pipt^ to smoke as they arc pcrfoftntng their ‘long 
Journey after death to their con tern plated lumcing grounds", which 
these people think is to be performed in their canoes*"" 

In this form of water burial the body of the dead is 
supposed to be carried in a canoe to Paradise. A similar 
custom is found in the early English epic 'Beotattlf. Scyld 
of the Sheaf, a “ culture hero came to the Danes across 

^ if iTA# Jl, 14IH 


the sea as a baby' foundling who hy in a boat with his 
head pillowed on a sheaf of corn. He became the king of 
the tribe, and when he died his body^ according to his last 
request, was sent to sea in a ship* 

tiThcy, hts l^i friends, carried him to the watcr^s edge, as he 
himself had asked when he, protector of the ScyldingS| still 
wielded his words. * - * They kid then the beloved chieftain, 
giver out of (money) rings, on the ship^s bcsooi. ^ . * Their soul 
was sad, their spirit sorrowful Who received that load, men, 
chieft, of councils, heroes under heaven, cannot for certain tdl!” 

They (the moiirners) " furnished him with no less of 
gifts, of tribal treasures, than those had done who, in hia 
early days, started him over the sea alone, child as he 
was"\* Scyld symbolized a set of Intruders who had 
introduced the agricultural mode of life into the homeland 
of the Danes, His body was disposed of in accordance 
with the custom of the intruders. The god Balder was 
disposed of after death like Scyld of the Sheaf His body 
was laid in a vessel called Ring-horn, which was launched. 
The ship was, however, set on fire* In this case the water- 
burial custom is combined with the cremation custom* 

The earliest reference to setting a child adrift on a 
river IS found in the legend of Sargon of Akkad, a great 
Mesopotamian monarch who lived before 2500 b*Cp 
S argon's mother was a vestal virgin of the sun god 
cult, and Sargonris made to say in the ancient story: 

^^When my mother had conceived me, she hare me in a 
hidden place* She laid me in a vessel nf rushes, stepped the door 
thereof with pitch, and cast me adrift qn the riven . . , The 
river Haated me to Akki, the water drawer, who, in drawing 
water, drew me forth. Akki, the water drawer, educated me as 
his soa, and made me his gardener. As a gardener, ! was beloved 
by the goddess Ehtar/' 

’ ^r:f4^^p iruiiLsitnl Ss)' ). K. CLtrkc UtU ^Lnndqi^ 


This myth resembles the one of Scyld who was set 
adrift as a living child. It was known in India, and 
attached there to the memory of the legendary hero 
Kama, son of the princess Prltha and the sun god 
Surya. The birth was concealed, and, according to the 
Mahd~bh 4 ram version of the legend, the mother placed 
her babe in a basket of wicker-work which was set 
adrift on a river. It was carried by the river Aswa 
to the river Jumna, and by the Jumna to the Ganges, 
and by the Ganges to the country of Anga, where a 
charioteer rescued the child and reared him as his own 

That the legend originally attached to a god is shown 
by the fiict that the god HeimdaJ, like Scyld, was as Seef 
(Sheaf) the original "culture hero” in northern myth¬ 
ology. He represented the god of the people who 
introduced the agricultural mode of life.* The Baby¬ 
lonian god Tammuz came as a child, A Sumerian hymn 
contains a significant reference in this connection; 

In his infancy in a sunken boat he lay. 

In his mail hood in the submerged grain he lay.^ 

Tammuz was the ‘^true son of the deep water”, 
according to O, Jensen and H. Zimmern, The goddess 
Aphrodite concealed Adonis in a "chest" and confided 
him to the care of Persephone, queen of Hades, In 
Ancient Egypt the god Horus was in one of his phases 
a living or dead child floating in a chest or boat. He 
was placed in this form in the constellation Argo, the 
chief star of which is Canopus. Orion, the constellation 
above Argo, was connected with Osiris. 

It would appear that the legends of living and dead 

* tndiAw 173-4, » p. 11, 


children drifting in a ch«t or cradle had a mythological 
origin, and that the custom of setting adrift the bodies of 
children or adults on a river or on the ocean had origin in 
the belief that the dead were carried in a boat to Paradise. 
The Ancient Egyptian Pharaohs of the sun cult were 
supposed to enter the boat of the sun god Ra, The 
Chinese believed in a Celestial Yellow River, which was 
the “ Milky Way”, as the Indians believed in a Celestial 
Ganges, and the Egyptians in a Celestial Nile. A 
Chinese story tells that a sage sailed up the Yellow River 
and found himself at length drifting across the sky. An 
oar of his boat fell from heaven and was preserved in the 
Roj-al palace. Apparently the American Chinook custom 
of setting the dead adrift on a river was imported from 
the Old World. The Paradise with jcweUladen trees 
was forgotten, and the Happy Hunting Grounds Paradise 
retained and connected with the imported belief in the 
celestial origin of rivers. 

Water burials were not common in America. The 
two examples given are the only ones that Dr. Yarrow 
could find. It is of special interest therefore to ascertain 
that they were better known in Oceania. The evidence 
obtained from that area seems to indicate that the custom 
was imported into Polynesia and Melanesia, just as it 
evidently was into America, by a people who had adopted 
complex beliefs regarding water as a source of life. One 
of the burial customs in the Shortlands group of islands 
was to convey a corpse to the sea and drop it overboard. 
”The usual mode of burial on Duke of York Island ", 
writes Dr. George Brown, iras at sea, generally in some 
deep part of the lagoon. Large stones were fetened to 
the toes, so that the body remained in a standing positiorr 
in the water. , . , On New Ireland the dead were rolled 
up in coverings made from leaves of pandaitus sewn 


together, then weighted with stones and buried at sea. 
In some places they were placed in deep underground 
water-courses or cavesJ*^ The Rev* George Turner tdls 
that on Aneltcum in the New Hebrides two native 
members of the mission party died. 

“On the death of these two the natives wished their bodies 
thrown into the sea according to custom, . ^ . When they cast a 
dead body into the «ra, if it is the body of a man, they do not 
wrap it up in anything, but paint the face tedj and sink ii not far 
from the shore by tying stones to the feet. If it is the body of a 
woman, they wrap it up in the leaf girdles worn by die women,”^ 

The following extract, which al$o refers to Aneiteum, 
is of very special interest, because it indicates how burial 
customs were changed by the introduction of new religious 
beliefs, and further because it shows that the custom of 
widow -burning which prevailed among the cremating 
people was adopted by those who favoured water burial: 

A commencement was made some years ^o to bury the dead, 
instead of throwing them into the sea^ but the teachers found out 
iliat a notion was spreading that all who were buried went to 
h>Kivcn, and aJI who were cast into the sea went to hell, and there¬ 
fore gave up saying much about it, that the people may understand 
it is a matter of no moment, as regards his eternal intcTTCSts, where 
the body of a man is disposed of after death. A man died lately 
who regularly attended the services, and of whom the tachers 
have some hopcp After his death they succeeded in saving his 
widow from being strangled. They had all but a fight over it, as 
her brother insisted on carrying out the old custom*”^ 

Instances of widow strangling and sea burials are given 
by the Rev* A. W. Murray^ who was for forty years a 
missionary in. Polynesia and New Guinea* Sick and 
insane people were put to death* A young man who had 

1 .WrArwiii^Ri tg/fanisHi {LfinijcKn, S^ie]^ fifi. %t X—If. 3^lS| *nd 
^ litiumm Ttiift ii (L<K 3 donf iS^Oi ^ 365+ * p. 414^ 


become delirious was carried to a river and thrown in and 

Behind the water-burial custom, as has been indicated, 
lay the fundamental belief in water of life", “Some 
of the South Sea Islanders", writes Turner, ’‘have a 
tradition of a river in their imaginary world of spirits, called 
‘water of life’. It was supposed that if the aged, when 
they died, went and bathed there they became young, 
and returned to earth to live another life over again.*’* 
This conception originally drifted into Polynesia from the 
Indian culture area. The Indian dead were supposed to 
bathe in the Celestial Ganges. Yudlushthira, the Pana¬ 
da va elder brother, in the Sanskrit epic the Mahd-bfidrattt^ 
is not cremated, nor docs he die. He and his brothers 
set out to walk to heaven, first going eastwards towards 
the “Red Sea", then southward, and then by the west 
towards the white sacred north. All the brothers fall dead 
on the way except Yudhishthira. After reaching heaven 
and visiting hell, Yudhishthira is taken to the celestial 
river. His guide says: 

“‘Here is the celcsriai river, sacred and sanctifying the three 
worlds. It is called Heavenly Ganga, Plunging into it, thou 
wilt go to thine own regions. Having bathed in this stream thou 
wilt be divested of thy human nature. Indeed, thy grief dispelled, 
thine ailments conquered, thou wilt be freed from all enmities.’ .. . 
Having bathed In the celestial river Ganga, sacred and sanctifying 
and ever adored by the Rishis, be (Yudhishchira) cast off his human 
body. Assuming then a celcaiial form, King Yudhishthira the 
just, in consequence of that bath, became divested of all his 
enmities and grief.”* 

The Maori of New Zealand believed that the moon 
was being consumed by a disease when on the wane : 

I MiiCTtf, lit et Idtt (Loadonr ^ 

^ JVFnrAVK TWi M ps 35 ^ 

^ i^arvg^ SectMil Uh truiiiiddn, 9-10]. 



“When she is excessively wok she goes and bathes in the 
Wat-ora-a-iwic (the living water of Tane), which gradualLy 
restores her strength until she is as great in power and lllc as 
when first created; but again the disease consumes her, and again 
she bathes in the water.** 

Another version is: 

“When the mtnn dies she goes to the living water of Tane— 
to the great lake of A-ewa (lake of god let loose from a boiid)^ 
to the water which can restore all, even the moon to its path in 
the sky 

It is quite evident that the water-burlaj customs in 
America and Polynesia were connected with a great body 
of imported complex beliefs. Water burial had a history, 
the origin of which cannot be traced either in America or 
Polynesia. No one can assert that the custom and the 
associated beliefs had origin in Polynesia. The onus of 
proof lies with those who assume that the custom and 
beliefs had spontaneous origin in America. 

Dr. H. C. Yarrow in his **A Further Contribution to 
the Study of the Mortuary Customs of the North Ameri¬ 
can Indians”, reminds us that «the Ichthyophagi, or 
fish eaters, mentioned by Ptolemy, living in the region 
bordering on the Persian Gulf, invariably committed their 
dead to the sea, thus repaying the obligations they had 
incurred to its inhabitants. The Ixjtophagians did the 
same, and the Hyperboreans, with a commendable degree 
of forethought for the survivors, when ill or about to 
die, threw themselves into the sea.” 

The ancient custom was likewise known In Africa, 
Dr. Yarrow refers to the evidence of the Rev. J. G. 
Wood,* who states that the Obongo ** take the body to 

* Ja 1 u« Whiu, Tit Aniitm Uituttf tj ti, Matft, Vot. 1 , fp. 141-*. 

» UaavUtvJ Abci ^ti, fruUf iJ70> V«l, I, p. 4IJ, 


Of ^vssc 

i i» JiK 


Hip {ikJ Xgigtl ^prinne4n«4 Ira t'l^x v^ith part uE Italian priert'i 

intrrprPtatJon mdvftl Usmt llir Aalcva# Thk ddty vc-M En onp of liEi atprcit a **dcif of 

aiidt l+kr I he Jc^-kraiJni Eifj-pfiioi gnit Arawbit* * fuE^p iji* loulii Tli^ tmti-in 
dpatb-fwd YiiHli hill # djuff hiTflifc Tkp A^lP«;:i ■AOrifi'niJ. a ‘dog |q Ipud ifee (e ih< 
OtllrfVitjrld. XoLratl ei hpft ■ pnitiplc’a [lcLt^+ |fr M-Ji MrtitPCtiiid. ^Eh Are^ hghciningt ^nd 
tlir bJid wilb flfftEEEt¥„ iht p-archt aitd lUt-iBcPi, h£ if iki>iM'it wilh 

ppnitentk.iL and ulhrf i/mholi on hii hpad, a loEir ipnbol htlovr cir^ a lifpT^dng ihcLL 
ncckljk'p, and tht QuptxalcoaEl ihcLI i^'nalKid on bli brrait. (S« a ja, 





I «• 



some running stream^ the course of which has been 
previously diverted. A deep grave is dug in the bed of 
the stream, the body placed in It, and covered over care¬ 
fully. Lastly the stream is restored to Its original course, 
so that all traces of the grave are soon lost.'* 

Reference has been made to the water burials of 
Scyld and Balder. In the early part of the 6fth century 
the Goths in Gilabria diverted the course of the River 
Vasento, and ** having made a grave in the midst of its 
bed, where its course was most rapid, they interred their 
king with a prodigious amount of wealth and riches. 
They then caused the river to resume its regular course, 
and destroyed all persons who had been concerned in 
preparing this romantic grave.” 

Bancroft states that the Itzas of Guatemala, who in¬ 
habited the islands of Lake Peten, threw their dead into 
the lake. The theory that they did so “for want of 
room '* 18 not convincing. “ The Indians of Nootka 
Sound and the Chinooks”, says Yarrow, “were in the 
habit of thus getting rid of their dead slaves, and, accord¬ 
ing to Timbcrlake, the Chcrokccs of Tennessee ‘ seldom 
bury their dead, but throw them into the river V’ 

Closely related to water burial was the American 
custom of placing the dead in canoes, which were cither 
raised on a platform or buried in the ground. According 
to Mr. George Gibbs, who has dealt with the burial 
customs of the Red Indians of Oregon and Washington 
Territory,' “ the common mode of disposing of the dead 
among the fishing tribes was in canoes. These were 
generally drawn into the woods at some prominent point 
a short distance from the village, and sometimes placed 
between the forks of trees, or raised from the ground on 
posts.” Dr, Yarrow says that this mode of burial “is 



commofi onljf to the tribes inhabiting the north-west 
coast ”j and he ^ves a few examples. 

The canoe was a symbol of the goddess who had had 
her origin In water. Like the pot in Egyptian mythology, 
the canoe symbolized her womb from which the soul was 
reborn in the after life. It also symbolized the bird 
form of the deity that was supposed to carry souls to 
Paradise, either through the air or along the mythical 
river Eo the Celestial regions. In short, the bird-shaped 
boat was the “ ship of the dead "—the carrier of the dead 
as it was of the living. The Dyaks of Borneo, who 
received with boats the complex culture associated with 
the seafaring mode of life, had a ship of the dead in the 
form of a bird, the head and beak forming the raised 
stem, and the outspread tail the raised stern, while the 
sails were the wings. The raised prow of the Americin 
burial canoe retained the shape of the raised head of the 
bitd favoured by the Dyaks, which was the Aiueros or 
rhinoceros horn bill. This bird was supposed by reason 
of the weight and strength of its beak to "disperse the 
dense clouds enveloping the sun". "The ship itself", 
says Frobenlus, “was a bird,” 

"In the ship, in this wonderful structure, the souls go in quest 
of the hereafter j and not only the souls themselves, but with them 
all the stores which are laid out at the tiwah, all the food and 
drink that are consumed at the tiwah, all the slaves and ocher poor 
wretches who, on the occasion of this tiwah, are openly or 
stealthily murdered and deprived of their heads,’* ‘ 

The North American Indians who favoured canoe- 
buriEd similarly provided the dead with all that was 
required for the last journey. The Chinook custom is 
described as follows: 

* Ejo rrnhcntiu, CiiUkacJ tj Mn {UttuUltd ty 
1909), f, iSi-j. 

Ai H. Kfaqe, Lsniion, 


‘*Wh«n the canoe was roidy, the coT>ve, wrapped in blankets^ 
was brought out^ and laid in it on mats previously spread. All 
the wearing apparel was next put in beside the body^ together 
with her trinkets, beads baskets and various trifles she had 
prized. More hlaftkeis were then covered over the body, and 
mats smoothed over all. Next, a small canoe, which fitted into a 
large one, was placed, bottom up, over the corpse, and the whole 
then covered with mats. The canoe was then raised up, and 
placed on two parallel bars, elcv.sccd four or five feet from the 
ground, and supported by being inserted through holes mortised at 
the lop of four stout posts previously firmly planted in the eii^. 
Around holes were then hung hlaiikei;^ an4 all the cooking 

utensils of the deceased, pots, kettles, and pans, each with a hole 
punched through it, and all her crockery ware, every piece of 
which was first cracked or broken, to render it useless-, and then, 
when all was done, they left her to remain for one year, when (he 
bones would be burled in a bo* in the earth directly under the 
canoe; but that, with all its appendages, would never be molested, 
but left to go to gradual decay."* 

The Dyaks did not provide a boat cofEn, but set up 
a big panel on which the bird-ship of the dead was 
depicted. They believed that the vessel carrying the 
soul, &c., passed through great perils, it had to cross 
the “fire sea" or the “fiery whirlpool" before reaching 
«the golden fields of the after life". After living in 
this region for a long period, the soul returned to earth, 
and cropped up as “a fungus, a fruit, a leaf, gi*^s, and 
the like A human being eats the fruit or fungus, and 
the soul is reborn as a little child.’ 

The ancient seafarers, whose vessels were the proto¬ 
types of all the ships of the world's oceans, appear to 
have been the introducers of the ship-burial customs. 
Reference has been made to the Scandinavian custom of 

« Qadtci from Sw^n'i Nirt*n=fi Cult P- 1®^. if 

lit Btmn tj WaihiBgton, tS>i, p- i?!- 
* Fnb<ni■l^ Tit CiiUittiJ,/ pp. ^*-1- 


sending the desd adrift in a boat. Another custom was 
to drag ashore a big ship, and hjr the dead Viking in it. 
Oyer the boat a sepulchral chamber was erected. If a 
ship Was not used, a ship-shaped grave was constructed 
with atones. Of these one of the most interesting ”, 
writes Du Cha[llu,» “ is that where the rowers’ scats are 
marked, and even a stone placed in the position of the 
mast . Stone-shaped graves, named aai/s or navem by 
archaeologists, have been found in the Balearic Islands in 
association with the towers called taiayo^^ resembling the 
muraghi of Sardinia and the bnchs of Scotland, which 
were erected by ancient seafarers,* The ancient Egyp¬ 
tians placed models of boats in tombs. Their sun god 
sailed daily across the heavens in a boat which was a symbol 
of the mother goddess; it was the Pharaoh’s «ship of 
death ” In time, when the belief obtained that nobles 
and priests could enter the Paradise of the solar cult, 
models of boats manned by their servants were placed in 
their tombs. The earlier custom was to place In graves 
implements and ornament-charms for the use of the dead. 
When the Osirian and solar conceptions of the Other- 
world were fused, it was believed that the dead crossed 
a river m a boat in which the four Horuses formed the 
crew. Another conception was that the dead on reaching 
the solar Paradise to the cast of the sky had to cross the 
lon^windmg «Ltiy-lake" to the island on which grew 
the Tree of Life (the goddess Hathor's sycamore). Like 
the swan-Wt of Lohengrin, the ferryboat moved of its 
own accord, and could speak. «All was alive, whether 
It was the seat into which the king dropped, or the steer¬ 
ing-oar to which he reached out his hand, or the barque 
into which he stepped, or the gates through which he 
passed. To all these, or to anything which he found, he 

‘ T*, Vok 1. f. jog. t T. Enc Pon, p, 



might speak; and these uncannj things might speak to 
him/' The surly feriyman, “ Face-bebi^d'' or *^Look- 
behifid”j rarely opened his lips, however. Appeals and 
threats had to be made so that he might ferry over the 
dead« The sun god's aid was asked for as in the Pyramid 

“O Ral Commend King Teti to * Look-bchind\ ferryman 
of che Lily-late, that he may bring that ferryboat of the Lily-lake, 
for King Teti, in which he ferries the gods to yonder side of the 
I^ily^Iake^ that he may ferry King TcEi to yonder side of the Lily- 
lake to the cast of the sky 

If the ferryman refused to hear, another boat called 
'^Eyc of Khnum^^ was summoned. This “Eye" is 
parallel with the designation “ Eye of Horus”, which may 
also be applied to the boat. The Imperishable Stars ", 
or the “two sycamores in the east'", would ferry the 
Pharaoh if the fenry^man foiled him, “The son of Atom 
is not without a boat", a Pyramid text protests. If there 
is, after all, no boat, the Horus folcon will carry the 
Pharaoh to the celestial regions. “This King Pepi", a 
text says, flies as a cloud to the sky, like a masthead 
bird , . or “King Unis flaps his wings like a zerct- 
bird”, or “King Unis goes to the sky! On the wind ! 
On the windr^ He might even ascend on smoke as In 
the Pyramid text which says, “ He ascends upon the 
smoke of the great incense-burning "/ 

In the Egyptian texts can be traced the history of the 
bird-ship of death, and even of ideas regarding the 
passing of the soul favoured by cults that had no ship 
of death. The belief that one can reach the celestial 
regions by ascending in smoke is found in Polynesia^ 
As will be shown in the next chapter, it also lies behind 
the custom of cremating the dead. 

^ erciileil, ^ Tjkt*gM in Amatmi 



The ship of death is in Babylonian literature used by 
Gilgamesh to reach the island of his ancestor, the survivor 
of the deluge. Ea, god of the deep, had a ship with a 
crew, including In-ab, the pilot, A dcsaiptlon of the 
vessel in a Sumerian text ends with the lines: 

May the ship before thee bn'ng fertility, 

May the ship after thee bring joy. 

In thy heart may it make joy of heart. 

Ea was the god of Eridu, the Sumerian seaport and the 
”cradle” of Sumerian culture. It would appear that the 
conception of the “ ship of death ”, which was the ship of 
the gods, like the Egyptian ferryboat on the Lily-lake, 
was carried far and wide by ancient mariners until it 
reached Borneo, Polynesia, China, and America, on the 
one hand, and as far west and north as Scandinavia on the 
other. The bird-boats of death of the Dyaks and Red 
Indians have a history rooted in the land in which boats 
were invented. Closely related to these boats of death 
(as goddess-womb symbols) arc the boats used by the 
&vourcd few who escaped death during the Hood, 



Cremation and Other Burial Customs 

Why wtre bumtd^Firc Gcid u Guide of Souli—Gtive Firei In 

Old wjid Nevt Warlds-^Fire und Suq ft Ufe-giircfi— MeiiiM FLrc DtHTtrine 
—Red ludEan Cujlcmi—Firc in OH md hfew Worldi^Pcicripiiont 

of Red Indian Cr4iofti[aisf--WidQvn' Cremuion u Privilt^eu^ Scltet 

Few—Old Wodd Ajuloglet — Heod-bujai^ Ctiiium^— Erect Burinli tu 
OceanU nod AitveHe:!—Widtiwf itranfled hj MelaneiintiA siEid Red IocIlut 
—Expoiurc qf Dend in AmeHu noii Am—Platform BumU—Burinli lo 
XreesL, Mqiuodi^ atid Cr^^atet of Mouftfiduf— Ipideaetiio Gujcoini—Xbeftry 
of ^Slmllv FkychQlag^'”—SiguinaiKS of Cultw; CqEaplcxiA 

The origin of the crcmailon custom is wrapped in 
obscurity. In ihe New and Old Worlds it was pr^ctis^ 
by peoples who regarded it as absolutely necessary so as 
to ensure the happiness of the dead- It was supposed 
to be impossible for souls to reach^ or at any rate to 
enter, the Celesdii] Paradise lantil their bodies were con¬ 
sumed by fire. This belief is brought out very clearly 
in the I/iaii. The ghost of the hapless Patroklos appears 
to Achilles in ^ dream and says t 

‘^Thou slecpest, and hast forgotten me, O Achilles. Not In 
my life wast thou ci^cr unmindful of jpe, but in my iJeath, Bury 
me with all speed, that I pass di< gates of Hades- Far off the 
spirits banish me, the phantoms of men outworn, nor suffer me to 
mingle with them beyond ihc Rirer, but vainly I wander along 
the wide-gated dwelling of Hauler- Now give me, I pray pitifully 
of thee, thy hand, for never more agun shall 1 come back from 
Hades, when yc have given me loy due of 

^ XXII tiEif, md MfcV CT«niliti-iHi)<| pu ^4 cdltiQnu 




In the Odyssey the soul of the sailor Elpcnor makes a 
similar appeal to Odysseus; 

" Lcavij me not unwept and unburied as thou goest hcnce^ nor 
turn thy back upon me, lest haply I bring on thee the anger of the 
gods. Nay, burn me there mine armour, all that is mine, and 
pile me a barrow on the shore of the grey sea, the grave of luckless 
man, that even men unborn may hear my story. Fulii! me this 
and plant upon tbe barrow mine o;:ir^ wherewith I rowed tn the 
days of my life, while yet I was among my fellows.’^ ^ 

Homcr^s Achacans, who burned their dead, appear to 
have represented a religious cult that had origin in Asia 
or Europe — probably in the former continent^—and 
became influential In ancient times. The ^^rly exponents 
of it swept through Kurope after bronze-working had 
been introduced. They appear to have been conquerors 
who formed military aristocracies. In Sweden the upper 
classes alone were cremated. In Britain cremation and 
inhumation were practised simultaneously In some areas, 
and only one member of a farnily-—perhaps the chief— 
might be cremated, while the others were buried in the 
ancient way. The Central European evidence is of like 
character. The cremated burials near Salzburg, in Upper 
Austria, **were those of the wealthier class, or of the 
dominant race " ; at Hallstatt “the bodies of the wealthier 
class were reduced to ashes”, but at Watsch and St. 
Margaret in Carniola “ the unburnt burials ” were “ the 
richer and more numerous”, the earlier people having 
apparently maintained their supremacy. 

The two customs, cremations and unburnt burials, 
obtained among the Aryan invaders of India} an un- 
cremated body might be either buried in the ground or 
exposed, perhaps on a raised platform. Those who 
burned their dead became politically predominant. They 

^ XX (Butfl^cr 4EiJ Lrin^'i InniLitLaD), 1 9 1 |], 


were worshippers of the fire god Agnl, The Vcdic 
epithet ag»i^ag<iha applied to the dead who were cre¬ 
mated» and an-agnidagdkSh (^‘not burnt with fire") to 
those who were buried, while pamptSh (”casting out") 
and uddhiiah (“exposure" of the dead) referred to other 
customs.^ The cult of the god Varuna appears to have 
favoured burial In the ground- A Varuna Vedlc hymn 
makes reference to the dead’s house of clay Buriat 
was”, wc are told, “not rare in the Rigvedic period: 
a whole hymn (x» 18) describes the ritual attending It. 
The dead man was buried apparently in full attire, with 
his bow in his hand,” The widow was led away from 
her dead husband’s grave by his brother or nearest kins* 
man.* If all the Aryans who entered India were of the 
same racial stock and came from the same culture area, 
it Is evident that they were divided into different religious 
cults. That the fusion of cults was in progress during 
the Vcdic period Is made evident by the fact that Varuna 
and Mitra were worshipped as well as Agni and Surya. 

There can be no doubt as to why the Agni worship¬ 
pers burned their dead. The god of fire was prayed to 
so that he might convey to the “ fathers ’’ (ancestors) the 
mortal “presented to him as an offering”. The soul 
was supposed to pass to realms of eternal light in a car 
or on wings ”, and to recover there ** its ancient body in 
a complete and glorified form ".* “ It was expected that 

the dead ”, write Macdonell and Keith, “ would revive 
with his whole body and all his limbs”, although it is 
also said (/Jt^YeAi, x, 16, 3) that the eye goes to the sun, 
the breath to the wind, and so forth.* 

Some writers have attempted to connect the cremation 

^ Pfl4 F/Jlif Jjiii ^ AW* W Vd. t, pp. 5-g. 

^ p. B. 

* Muir, Oriihal SMHikrk Tf^m^ Y, 301+ * FrJif p* ^ 




custom with the custom of burning fires in or near 
graves, and as both customs are found in America, it 
would be well to deal with them before citing the 
American evidence, 

Dr.Dorpfeld' has suggested that the Achsan invaders 
of Greece burned their dead only when engaged in distant 
wars, and that they practised inhumation in their home¬ 
land. He thinks, too, that cremation arose from the 
custom of scorching bodies prior to burial for hygienic 
reasons. This view is not supported by the Indian 
evidence. The dead who were tin burned were supposed 
to walk to Paradise and cross a river on their way, while 
the dead who were burned were transported to Paradise 
by the fire god. In Southern and Central Europe, as 
well as in the British Isles, the custom of cremation 
succeeded the earlier one, and was mainly confined to the 
upper classes—the descendants of the conquerors who 
had introduced new religious beliefs and customs. 

Dr. Dorpfeld refers, in support of his theory, to what 
he regards as « partial burnings *' In tombs at Myceii®. 
The charred fragments of bones may have, as Burrows 
suggests, been due partly to sacrifices and prtly to 
”charcoal brought in to comfort and warm the dead”. 
Burrows notes, in this connection, that " clay chafing-pans 
filled with charcoal are actually found in several of the 
Zafer Papoura graves (Crete). In one of them, and also 
in the Royal Tomb at Isopata, the charcoal is in a plaster 
tripod that forms a regular portable hearth.”* Charcoal 
deposits arc often found in early European graves, usually 
referred to as "Bronze Age graves”, and it has been 
suggested that they are remains of fires used to cook food 
for the dead. It may be, however, that the fires were of 

Mfismgt, fficiii (in honaiu of Jula ,,05, CcncT*, pp. 9$ 

Ratify bunoHTi^ TMt im Cj'rt, LMagn, 1907^ fp. m 


a more ceremonial character. Early burials took place at 
night, and it may be that the torches used were thrown 
into the grave. Grave fires may have been lit in as well 
as near the graves. 

The Polynesians and Melatiesians lit fires when a 
death occur red. Dr. George Brown says that in Samoa 
“large fires were lighted in front of the house. They 
were kept burning all night until the btxly was buried^ 
and sometimes for a week and ten days afterwards.” 
Those who favoured water burial also lit fires. “In 
ordinary cases of burying at sea", writes Dr. Brown, “a 
fire was lit on the beach so that the spirit of the departed 
might come and warm himself if he felt so inclined.” ^ 

The Rev. George Turner, referring to the burial of 
the embalmed Polynesian chiefs “on a platform raised on 
a doable canoe”, writes: 

“On the evening after burial of any important chief, his friends 
kindled a number of fires at distances of ^mc twenty feet from 
each oiher^ near the graven and there they sat and kept them 
burning till morning light. This was continued somedmes for 
ten days after the funeral; h was also done before burLal, In ilie 
house where the body layi or out in front of it, fires were kept 
burning all night by the immediate relatives of the departed. The 
common people had a similar custom. After burial they kept a 
Arc blazing in the house all night, and had the space between the 
house and the grave so cleared ns that a stream of light went forth 
all night from the fire to the grave. . . « At Aneitcum, of the 
New Hebrides, they also kindled fires, saying that it was that the 
spirit of the departed might come and warm itself”* 

Turner refers to the Jewish custom of lighting grave 
fires. When King Asa died his body was laid in “the 
bed, which was filled with sweet odours and divers kinds 
of spices prepared by the apothecaries' art* and they 

^ BrowHp 0mJ i-cadon, utJ 40^ 

I Rct. G€MfE Tuners A'iiuimi ruirj in pp. a, 



made a very great burning for him The wicIchI King 
Jehoram^ who departed from the feith and ^*made high 
places in the mountains of Judah and like his father 
favoured false prophets, was not similarly honoured after 
he died; “his people made no burning for him like the 
burning of his fathers 

Traces of “burnings” have been found In the ruins 
of Sumerian towns in Mesopotamia. Writing on burial 
customs, and the early graves beneath houses^ King says; 

“From the quantity of ashes, and from the fact that some of 
thr^ bfKiies appeared to have been partiaJiy biirnt^ Dr, Koldeway 
GrrorkCDiisly concluded chat the moands marked die sites of ‘fire- 
nccropoles*, where he imagined the early Babylonians burnt their 
dead, and the houses he re^rded as tombs. But in no period of 
Sumerian or Babybntan history was this praettee In vogue. The 
dead were always buried, and any appearance of burning must 
have been produced during the dEStmerion of the cities by 

It may be that the burnings similar to those that obtained 
among the Jews were not unknown in Babylonia, and 
that all traces of fire in graves were not due alone to the 
burning of houses by enemies. 

The Dpks of Borneo believed, like the Indians, 
that the soul hovered beside the body until the funeral 
ceremony was completed. The soul had itself a body 
and soul, “ The soul's soul shivers until it can gaawt in 
the glowing eyes of Tcmpon-telon. So they fear lest the 
souls soul rob them of their fire.”* The custom of 
lighting funeral fires may have originated therefore in 
the belief that, if fires were not provided for the dead, 
household fires would be taken away by thcru, just as 
** the substance *’ of food is supposed to be taken away 

' J Cirtmlti, TO, 14. • ui^ 14. 

* A if Swmtr itnJ fr 31 . 

^ L«i Fro^aiuia, Tic C^ildkMd tf Msm, pp* 


by the fairies to whom ofFerings of food Kad to be made 
in ancient times. The dead required fire just as the 
fairies required food. In the Odyss^ the dead require 
blood — the blood which is Hfe. They drink the blood| 
are animated by it, and are then able to converse with 
the living as they do with Odysseus* In Polynesia the 
soul of the dead required fire, and might appear “ with 
a flame, fire being the agent employed In the Incantation 
of the sorcerers’V Wheu the gods were invoked fires 
were extinguished.* Here we have another reason for 
lighting fires at funerals. The living were protected by 
fire against the attacks of the dead. But the liindamental 
idea in the funeral fire custom appears to be that the 
dead are animated by fire—^the ** vital spark /The 
Indian belief that fire was life Is found in the 
Mdrara : 

Mudita, the favourite wife of llie fire Saha, used to live in 
water.* And Saha, who was the regent of the catch and begot 
in that wife of his a highly sacred fire called Advuca* There is 
a tradition amongst learned Brahmanas that this fire is the ruler 
and inner soul of all cr^itures." 

Another passage states: 

“That other fire which has its scat in the vital airs of all 
creatures, and animates their bodies, is called Sannihita. It is the 
cause of our perceptions of sound and form.” 

There are various kinds of fires. The fire called 
Bharata'' vouchsafes “development" to all creatures, 
“and for this reason is called Bhamta (the Cherisher)". 
“The fire that gives strength to the weak is called Valada 
(■^the giver of strength')/*^ A Baby Ionian fire hymn 

' PoifviiMn RtMgrfht (in £H;tELi«]]it VoL I, 

" liid^ VqL ff pp. 110^1. 

* HetE ihit Eh u “iifE luWi.fiEA'" lidki wktS tbe pcirl, EvEd, tiktn 
vitsT. Sec bcE^w, ScctkiQttii CCXX-CCX3tlt J. 


declares that “of all things that can be named thou (fire) 
dost form the labrtc The post~Calumbian Americans 
identified fire with the sun, and regarded both as givers 
of life. The Algonkin word for the sun is Ketuk^ which 
means “to give life In Zunian mythology “the sun 
formed the seed-stuff of the world*’.® “Know that the 
life in your body and the fire on your hearth arc one and 
the same thing, and that both proceed from one source ", 
a Shawnee sage declared.^ The wwd for sun is derived 
from the word for fire in some South American dialects. 
In many American languages the words for fire, blood, 
and the colour red are closely connected. Brinton gives 
the follotring examples: 

“Algonkin: sitda^ fire, mi~sh^af redj Kotosch: iatt, fire, io«, 
redi Ugalenu: fire, red; Tahfcali: cun, fire; 

irHii-tun, red; Quiche: eai, fire, red, tic. From the adjective 
red comes often the word for i/md, as Iroquois; sfuJtwtnsa, blood, 
endwrnlara, red; Aigonkin: miihvi, blood, mnisda, red, &c., and 
in sj'mbolLsrn the colour red may refer to cither of these ideas."* 

The Nahuas of Mexico regarded fire as *‘the father 
and mother of all things and the author of nature ", To 
them “fire was the active generator, the life-giver, the 
source of animate existence". The Aryo-lndian wor¬ 
shippers of the fire god Agni connected him with the 
hymn declares that “the sun has the nature 
of Agni In Brahmanic mythology the Creator existed 
in the form of Agni before the worlds were formed. 

In Mexico the g(^ of fire was “ the father and mother 
of all the gods Fire was named Tota, our Father, and 
Huehuetcotl, Oldest of the Gods, When a child was 
born a fire was lighted, and was kept burning “ to nourish 


^ tkf #!«,, ril, 1 WillSiittf, if Amtriti^ p. 104. 

Cyihin;, Zunim CmHim JUffii, p. «/7g>U Ttwmtr, b. i6i. 

firtatno, TU M/i*m ^<4# A'rtc ifWd, f. ifij, 


Us for four days, '*The Infant passed through a 

baptism of fire on the fourth day of its ^ 

There can be little doubt that the custom of lighting 
funeral fires, which, as we have seen, prevailed in Poly¬ 
nesia, and was known also in America, is doscly connected 
with the belief that fire is an animating force. Bodily 
heat and sun heat were regarded as being identical with 
fire. Dr. Yarrow, in his exhaustive article on the mortu^^ 
ary customs of the North American Indians, quotes from 
a writes; on the Algonkins: 

“The Algonkins believed that the fire lighted nightly on the 
grave was to light tJsc spirit on its journey. By a coincidence to 
be explained by the universal sacred ness of the number, the Al- 
gonkins and Mexicans maintained it for four nights consectith'tly. 
The former related the tradition that one of ditir ancestors 
returned from the ^irit land and informed their nation that the 
journey thither coni^umed jusit four days, and that collecting fuel 
every night added naucb to the toil and latiguc the soul encoun-- 
icrcd, all of which could be spared it*^ 

A tradition current among the Yurok of California 
regarding the use of fires is given by Stephen Powers*; 

After death they kept a fire hurning certain nights in the 
vicinity of the grave. They hold as I believe^ at least the ' Big 
Indians * do, that the spirits of the dqsarted arc compelled to croa 
an extremely greasy pole, which bridges over the chasm of the 
debatable land, and that they require the fire to light them on 
their darksome journey^ A righteous soul traverses the pole 
quicker than a wicked one, hence they regulate the number of 
nights for burning a light according to the character for goodness 
or the opposite which the deceased possessed In this world 

Dr. Yarrow adds^ ^'Dr. Emil Bessels, of the Polaris 
expedition, informs the writer that a somewhat simtbr 
Wief obtains among the Esquimaux 

^ HrmtoD^ ^ 1^ Pr 

* CpiirihmnM a Aartk jSwttrin* V^L 11, fk jt. 


The animating fire gave light as well as heat, and 
because it animated it purified. Light came also from 
jewels buned with the dead; they shone In darkness. 
In China jadCj l^old) pearls, cond, &c., shone by night 
beause they were impregnated with Yang (life substance) 
which was concentrated in the sun. It is impossible to 
trace in America the origin of the various fire customs 
and the beliefs connected with fire. These were evidently 
imported, as they were into Polynesia, by a people or by 
peoples who had aetjuired the fire doctrines that prevailed 
in Asia, Similar customs and beliefs were distributed 
throughout Europe. In Scotland **new fires’' or «fric¬ 
tion fires were lit, as in Mexico, with ceremony. 
Martin and Pennant testify as to the existence in the 
Highlands of the custom of fire baptism. “ It has hap¬ 
pened ", writes the latter, *'that, after baptism, the child 
IS thrice handed across the fire, with the design to frus¬ 
trate all attempts of evil spirits or evil eyes ”, and he 
si^gcsts that the rite was originally one of purification, 
rire was carried round a mother morning and evening 
until a child was baptiited, according to Martin. Fire 
was connected with the sun, as in America, The Gaelic 
sayings, " Evil never came from the cast ”, and » No evil 
comes from fire", testify as to this, as well as the custom 
of passing children through a circle of fire to remove the 
effects of evil eye. The worshippers of the goddess 
Bride (Brigit) kept perpetual fires burning, as did Ameri- 
ran worshippers of fire deities. These and other similar 
^^le an customs can be traced throughout Europe. 
They were not necessarily connected with the custom of 
CTCmating the dead. The Persian fire-worshippers, for 
mstance, did^ not approve of cremation. 

In America the cremation custom was well known. 
Ur. Varrow says it was practised especially by the tribes 

(UrtltiJIl MuKutn]! 




"living on the western slope of the Rocky Mountains, 
although we have undoubted evidence that it was also 
practised among the more eastern ones”. An interesting 
account of a cremation burial, as practised by the Tolko- 
tins of Oregon, is given by Ross Cox.‘ He tells that the 
corpse was kept for nine days, so that the friends and 
relatives niight have an opportunity of coming from 
distances to verify the death. The pyre was about 
seven feet long and of split cypress with a quantity of 
gummy wood in the interstices. When It was lit to burn 
the corpse, the bystanders appeared to be "in a high 
state of merriment’*. The widow was subjected to a try¬ 
ing ordeal. She slept beside the corpse until the day of 
burial. She also lay beside the body on the pyre, and 
was not allowed to rise from it after the fire was kindled 
until her body was covered with blisters. The narrative 

"When the friends of the deceased observe the sinews of the 
Icp and arms bei^nning to contract, they compel tile unfortunate 
widow to go again on the pile^ and by dint of hard pressing to 
straighten those members”. 

If the widow had been unfaithful to her husband, or had 
neglected her duties, she was flung on the pyre and had 
to be rescued by friends. When the burning was over 
she collected the bones and had to carry them about with 
her until they were finally interred. During this period 
she was treated as a slave. 

Stephen Powers, describing a cremation ceremony of 
the Sc-n£l of California, writes: 

“The corpse was that of a wealthy chieftain, and as he lay 
upon the funeral pyre, they placed in his mouth two gold twenties, 
and other smaller coins in his cats and hands, on his breast, &c,, 

^ *877^ VqL III, p, 34 



besides jill his Jincry^ his feather nuntles, pluniK, clothing, shell 
moneyj Jiis (mcy bows, painted arrows, ^'c *\ 

Gifts were thrown on the bla^ing^ the mourners. 

Traces of cremation have been found in the pre- 
Colurnhian cemeteries of North America. In some cases 
the customs of inhumation and cremation were, as in 
Europe, practised in the same area simuJtaneousIy, 
Brinton shows, in this connection, that among some 
peoples cremation was ** a privilege usually confined to 
a select few ", and writes: 

“ Among the Algonhin-Oitawas only those of the distinguished 
totem of the Great Hate, among the Nicaraguans none but the 
caciques, among the Cartbs exclusively ihc prlcsdy caste were 
entitled lo this peculiar honour, 

“'fhe first gave as a reason for such an exceptional cusiom, that 
the members of 90 lllustrioui a clan as that of Michabo^ ihc Great 
Hare, should not rot in the ground as common folio, but rise to 
the heavens on the Rames and smoke. Those of Nicaragua seemed 
to think it the sole path to immortahty^ holding that only such as 
□Sered themselves on the pyre of their chieftain would escape 
annihilation at deaths and the tribes of Upper California were 
persuaded that such as were not burned at death were liable to be 
transferred into the lower orders of brutes.^' * 

The descendants of the introducers of new cultures^ 
and of chtefcams or conquerors, were buried according to 
their own ancestral or tribal rites, while the masses of the 
people perpetuated their own peculiar customs. A similar 
explanation is suggested by the custom of mummifying 
chiefs or high-priests only, [n Tibet, as L. A, Waddell 
informs us, "the bodies of the Grand Lamas and a few 
other high-priests are embalmed and enshrined within 
gilded tombs (ch^rt^ns)^ and the remains of the more 
wealthy priests are sometimes cremated, , . * The usual 

i BriflLon, TAp AfjMi t/iJu Am pp, s 69 ^-?q. 


method of disposing of the bodies, however, is by cutting 
off the flesh from the bones and throwing the pieces to 
dogs and vultures to be consumedt , , . The corpses ol 
poor people, criminals, those killed by accident, lepers, 
and sometimes barren women, are dragged by z rope, like 
a dead beast, and thrown into rivers and lakes.” ‘ Tibet 
was a meeting-ground of cultures from various areas of 
origin, and the customs of the higher classes were those 
of the culture or cultures politically in the ascendant. 

Oceanic customs reveal similar evidence, *‘lii the 
Shortlands group”, writes Dr. George Brown, «the dead, 
if common people, arc buried, but the ordinary mode of 
burial is to wrap the body up in mats weighted with 
heavy stones and then convey it to certain places where 
it is dropped overboard. The bodies of chiefs, however, 
and people of some importance are cremated.” On New 
Ireland the cremation custom was confined to the north 
end of the island: in other parts water burial was favoured.* 
Here the custom is a tribal one and not conhned to a 
class. Elsewhere mummification was favoured by the 
ruling Caste, “Embalming”, wrote Turner, **is known 
and practised with surprising skill in one particular family 
of chiefs. Unlike the Egyptian method, as described by 
Herodotus, it is performed in Samoa exclusively by 
women.”* Like the Egyptian Pharaohs the Polynesian 
priests ** were supposed to have a separate place (in the 
after Jife^ allotted to them .* In Indonesia Perry has 
found evidence that certain burial customs were associated 
chiefly with the ruling class, the descendants of intrude^,* 

Not only were certain burial customs confined to 
tribes Or families in America^ there Is also evidence of 

j Cminmt tf ttu ft'vrl/, Val. I, pp. (7J.4. 

* Nhaattn Tm j» p-151- ■* Ihtd^ p, 1^7* 

* C*inft im JmdMitiOt pjm 2^ *^9 tr ttf. 



cultUfC-miKing m some of these customs^ Dn Yanrow 
quotes from General Tomplcim of the United States 
ArmjTj an account of a curious burial custom favoured hy 
the Achomawi Red Indians of California, The Gencri 
tells that it is the custom of these people to 

*^bury ibe body in a ground in a standing position, the 
shoulders nearly even with the grounds The grave is prepared by 
digging a hole of sufKcient depth and circumference to aduiic the 
bodyj the head being cut ofE In the grave are placed the bows 
and arrows, bead-wart, trappings, &c^, belonging to the deceased^ 
quantities of foed, consisting of dried Hsli^ foots, herbs, &c., were 
placed with the b^y alsou The grave was then filled up, cover¬ 
ing the headless body^ then a bundle of faggots was brought and 
placed on the grave by ttic different members of the tribe, and on 
these faggots the head was pbted, the pite fired, and the bead con¬ 
sumed to ashes. - - , I noticed while the head was burning, the 
old women of the tribe sat on the ground, forming a large circle, 
inside of which another circle of young girls were formed standing 
and swaying cbeir bodies to and fro, and singing a mournfid ditty. 
This was the only burial of a male I witnessed. The custom of 
burying females is very different, their bodies being wrapped or 
bundled up in skins and laid away in caves, with their valuables, 
and in some cases food being placed with them in their mouths. 
Occasionally money is left to pay for food in the spirit land,” ^ 

Heads were mummified, Instead of being burned, by 
some Red Indians, Polynesians, &c. That the head¬ 
burning custom did not originate in America Is evident 
when wc find it was practised in Melanesia. In the 
Solomons “some tribes bury a chief with his head near 
to the surface, and over the grave light a fire, which 
burns away the flesh from the head; the skull is after¬ 
wards dug up for preservation. In some of the Western 

> Dt. VmQiT, "A Further CoolribEitio^ to the S^tidyuf eHc MArltur? CvAoeut of 
thir N4Tlh AiDcritiQ p. iji. The Chlnjttt cuiEoin et j^dcp [olEi, 

m the nhauthi ftf tbc dcLd tufgeiti jnDther rufoa for tlie Jadian titilJem 
pLflCLDi e«in^ id ihc moutkl of tlac deaii. 


Solomons the bodies of chiefs and members of their 
families are usually burnt, and the ashes and skulls and 
some other bones are preserved.'' ^ 

The erect posture is, as we have seen, associated with 
water-burial on Duke of York Island. It was also 
favoured by some who buried their dead in the ground. 

In some cases ", writes Dr, Brown, “ but very rarely, 
J believe, a chief was buried in an upright position. This 
grave was called sung na utuha\ but 1 cannot tell what this 
means, the real interpretation of the words being the hole 
or pit of the large snake {tauket)." * Some Red Indians 
like the Algonquins and Dakotas believed that the Brig 
o’ Dread " (the Scottish name) across the river of death 
was formed by a snake; others, like the Hurons and 
Iroquois, believed the bridge was formed by a tree. 

Erect burial was practised in Ireland. Joyce writes 
in this connection; 

"Occasionally the bodies of kings and cliicfiaint were buried 
in a standing posture, arrayed in full battle costume, with the face 
turned towards the territories of their enemies.” 

In the B^ok of the *Dttn Cow a hero is buried “with the 
face turned southwards upon the Lagenians, [as it were] 
fighting with them, for he was the enemy of the Lagenians 
in his lifetime ", Of another hero It is told : ** He was 
killed in that bittle and buried standing up in that 
place". Skeletons standing up in graves have been 
found in a tumulus in County Meath and in a cairn in 
County Mayo.^ 

An interesting case of erect burial in America has 
been described by E. A. Barber, who writes;* 

■ P. W+ ^ SmtiHfr Hiintj if ^ 5 


t jS 

“On tlic New Jersey bonk of the Delaware River, a short 
distance below Gloucester City, the skeleton of a man was found 
buried in a standing position ”, 

The skull was wanting, 

“A careful exhumation and cnKcal examination by Mr. 
KUngbeil disclosed the fact that around the lower extremities of 
the body had been placed a number of large stones, which revealed 
traces of lire, in coRjiifiction with charred wood, and the bones of 
the feet had undoubtedly been consumed.” 

In Polynesia foot burning was resorted to so that the 
sick might be animated. “ I have seen ”, writes Turner, 
“ a poor fellow dying from an arrow-wound in the neck, 
and the sole of his foot just burned to a mass of raw 
flesh.” ^ In cases of crematioji-burials in Oregon the 
doctor, who had attended the man who lies on a pyre, 
“ for the last time tries his skill in restoring the defunct 
to animation " before the fire is kindled-' 

Red Indian widows were not burned with the dead 
as in India. As in Indian Vedic times they might be led 
from the grave by relatives, or compelled to endure in¬ 
dignities and even torture. Some widows committed 
suicide, while widowers fled “to distant quarters to avoid 
the brutal treatment which custom has established as a 
kind of religious rite'‘.® 

Women were strangled by some Red Indian tribes 
when husbands or relatives died. The Natchez of 
Louisiana practised this custom, 

“A cord i» Ristened round thdr necks with a slip-knot, and 
eight men of their relations strangle them by drawing, four one 
way and four the other,”* 

* WimiJrf* JVjrt- JTJT FtiyuttiOf fL 

^ Df* “A Fiidhcr C^ntnlruEiDn t* the Stud^i of ilic Martiurr CuiEomi of 

I Mirth Ara«LCET, ^ ^ 

WMhlnctQn^ lEti, ^ 14^), ^ 

* Yirnjfr, lit^ pi4 t4S-fi, 4 Yarra*^ ^ p. i 



The Melanesians simibrly strangled widows. Turner 
informs us that, on the bland of Aneiteum^ 

“it was common, on the death of a chief, to strangle his wives, 
that they might accompany him to the regions of the departed. 
The custom has been found in %'arioiis parts of the Pacific."’ 

Some American burial customs are confined to par¬ 
ticular tribes. It does not follow, however, that they are 
of independent origin. Indeed, when it is found that 
Identical customs prevailed in Asia, and were exceedingly 
prevalent in some areas, the suspicion arises that they 
were imported into America at some period or another. 
This suspicion hardens to a certainty when it is shown 
that a particular custom has a history in Asia, and is 
rooted in a body of definite beliefs, and it is without a 
history in America, and perpetuated there merely as a 
traditional usage on special occasions. A case in point is 
the custom of offering the dead to birds and beasts. In 
Tibet, as we have seen, the bodies of the common people 
were thus disposed of, while prleste were either cremated 
or embalmed. The Caddoes or “ Timber Indians ” 
neither mummified nor cremated their great men. Com¬ 
mon people were buried, and those worthy of the highest 
honour were treated like the commoners of Tibet. Yarrow 
gives the following quotation in this connection: 

“If a Caddo i$ Icilkd in battle, the body ^ never buried, but 
is left to be devoured by beasts or birds of prey, and the condition 
of such individuals in the other world is considered to be far better 
than that of persons dying a natural death '*.* 

The custom was an expression of religious ideas, and 
confined to warriors. Apparently it was introduced by a 
people who either effected settlement by conquest, or 

* r«ri m 9J- ' p. t&|. 



catne from an area outside America, where warriore, as 
the descendants of the fighting caste, were honoured after 
death in accordance with the beliefs prevailing in the area 
of origin whence the original conquerors came. 

The custom of exposing the dead had, so far as our 
knowledge goes, its origin in Irania. Some of the 
pastoral fighting peoples who entered India in early Vedic 
times exposed their dead, as has been indicated. They 
appear to have been more numerous, or at any rate more 
influential in Tibet before cremation and mummification 
were introduced by religious teachers, and confined to 
them and their successors. In Persia, however, the 
custom of exposing the dead to birds and beasts of prey 
was very prevalent. When the corpses were devoured 
“their joy was very great", writes M. Pierre Muret;* 
they enlarged themselves in praises of the deceased, 
every one esteeming them undoubtedly happy, and came 
to congratulate their relations on that account. For as 
they believed assuredly, that they were entered into the 
Elysian fields, so they were persuaded, that they would 
procure the same bliss for all those of their family*’' 
The Parthians, Medea, and Caspians favoured the custom. 
Dogs, called mwj sspukkrsltt^ were trained and kept by 
the Bactrians and Hircanians to devour dead bodies. It 
was deemed proper", says Yarrow, quodng Bruhier and 
Murct, “ that the souls of the deceased should have 
strong and lusty frames to dwell in.” The Parsees 
(descendants of Persians) in India still expose their dead 
on their “ towers of silence", so that they may be 
devoured by vultures. Monier Williams, who wrote 
regarding the Parsee custom in the Ynwej (January 
1876), was informed as follows by a Parsee regarding the 
bcliefr connected with it: 

I Jtrerj ?/ Fwwr#/ AmitM iini Jloi/fm ( p. 4^. 



“Our prophet who lived 6ocx3 /Ears caught us 

to regard the elements as symbols of the deity. Karthj firtj water^ 
he said, ought never^ under any circiiiTtstanccs^ to be defiled by 
contact with putrefying flesia. Naked, he said, came we into the 
world, and naked we ought to leave tt. But the decaying particles 
of our bodies should be d is^paCed AS rapidly as possible, and in 
such a way that neither Mother Earth nor the beings she supports 
should be contaminated in the slightest degree, , . . God, indeed, 
sends the vtilmrcs." 

Originally the vultures were themselves forms of the 
deity. As Agni, the fire god, consumed bodies and 
transported souls in smoke to the Celestial regions, so, 
apparently, did the birds or dogs who devoured the dead 
carry the souls to another world. 

Platform burials are in some lands connected with 
beliefs similar to those of the ancient Persians. In 
America, however, the dead who are thus disposed of are 
protected in canoes or boxes, or carefully wrapped up on 
flat boards. The "platform" tombs are common in 
Asia. As in America they are found to be supported by 
Y-formed stakes. They are also placed in the forks of 
trees. The Y symbol is in ancient Egypt asso ciated with 
the god Shu who supports the firmament. Four Y 
symbols represent the sky pillars of the four cardinal 
points.‘ Platforms supported on Y-formed stakes ap[>ear 
to have been symbols of heaven; the corpse laid on the 
platform was thus oflfered to heaven; the canoe^ supported 
Y-formed stakes, was evidently symbolic of the sun 
boat that sailed across the sky, and was entered by the 
soul of the dead Pharaoh. The fork of a tree was, it 
would appear, favoured because the pillars of the four 
cardinal points were often represented as trees. They 
were also represented as mountains. The custom of 

‘ See iUuimiiaq m Sruitt^ ji effimte p, 



burying the dcnd in trccs^ or in cofBns made from sacred 
trees, and that of burying in mountain Essunes, which 
were known in America and Asia, may have been con¬ 
nected with the belief that the dead were returned to the 
tree or mountain form of the Great Mother. Pyramids 
and cairns were symbols of the world pillars too. They 
were specially connected with the sun cult, which regarded 
the sun as the child of the Mother Goddess. The sun 
emerged from the Mount of Dawn”, and returned to 
the “ Mount of Sunset ”, or it emerged from the Tree of 
Life that supported the world. Burial mounds in America 
and Asia were like the Babylonian temples, sacred ** moun¬ 
tains”—symbols of the deity, who was the giver of life 
at the begilining, and who animated the body after death. 

Dr. O. G, Given, an American physician, provides 
the following notes regarding the burial customs of the, Comanches, and Apaches. 

“They burj- in ilit ground or in crevices of rocks, ... I was 
present at the burial of Hlack Hawk, an Apache chief^ some two 
years ago, and took the body in my light wagon up the side of a 
mountain to the place of burial. They found a crevice in ihc 
rocks about four feet wide and three feet deep." ’ 

In this crevice they buried the chief, filling up the 
grave with loose rocks. Perry has recorded this burial 
custom in Indonesia. “The custom of placing the dead 
in clefts of the rocks is found among the people of the 
Simbuang-Mapak Valley. The Kabui Naga sometimes 
place the dead in an excavation In the side of a hill, and 
close up the opening with stones Indeed t!ic jumble 
of burial customs in Indonesia is repeated in America 
It may be tJiercfore that the culture-mixing involved took 
place irt Asia, and that the migrating people who reached 

» YuTQir, ^ fli, j., i 4j, I Afiptidv eWa/f ^ rp. 11-4}. 


Oceania and America were carriers of a variety of customs 
and beliefs. No doubt fresh culture-mixing took place in 
new countries. The burial customs of the pre-Columbian 
Americans were of complex character from the very begin¬ 
ning. As has been shown from the examples given, each 
custom was rooted in religious beliefs that are not peculiar 
to America and cannot be proved to have originated there. 
Some believe that similar burial customs in Polynesia, 
America, and Asia were of independent origin. Such a 
theory is difficult to entertain and is unsupported by 
positive evidence. “It is an evident fact", writes Mr, 
Thomas A. Joyce, *‘that the Americans physically stand 
in comparatively close relation to the Asiatics. That 
being so, a somewhat similar psychology is natural, and 
this would lead, subject to modifications produced by 
environment, to the evolution of culture and art in 
which certain analogies might be expected to appear."' 
Here a theory rests on a theory, and Robertson's term 
“ natural " is once again repeated. If a “ similar psy¬ 
chology" depends on race, how are we to explain the 
existence of the same burial customs among Mongols, 
Papuans, Dravidlans, Aryo-Indians, and Egyptians? If 
it was “natural" for one Red Indian tribe to burn their 
dead, as did certain Polynesian, Melanesian, and Aryo- 
Indian peoples, was it “ natural", too, that other Red 
Indians should have embalmed their dead, as did the 
ancient Egyptians, certain Polynesian and Melanesian 
peoples, &c.? If mummification has a definite history 
in one part of the world, has it no history in other 
parts? If cremation Is associated with a definite body 
of beliefs in India, and with the same complex body 
of beliefs in the New World, arc we justified in assuming 
that the origin of the American custom was natural and 

* J71, 


spqnt^cous, rapecialljr when we find that migrating peoples 
in Asia and Europe distributed the cremating custom far 
and Wide? The theory of similar psychology” breaks 
down when we find such a great variety of burial customs 
among tribes physicaHy akin. Nor can it be urged when 
consideration is given to the fact that certain customs were 
confined to the priestly or ruling classes and other customs 
prevailed among the commoners. The priests and chiefs 
of a particular tribe had not necessarily diffitrent minds 
from their kinsmen. « A somewhat similar psychology " 
is surely "natural” among members of the same nomadic 

Cultures like languages afford no sure indication of 
racial affinities. The carriers of a i^rticular culture 
were not necessarily the originators of it. They may 
have formed a small minority in a community, although 
the influence exercised by them may have been very great. 
In some instances they appear to have changed the burial 
customs of a whole tribe: in other Instances they appear 
to have done no more than establish a burial custom 
for the family they founded. The chief and his ^mily 
might be mummified or cremated, while the common 
people perpetuated their own ancient burial customs. A 
special heaven was reserved for chief, priest, or warrior; 
it was the heaven of the imported religion; the common 
iwople continued to believe they would share in the after 
life the fkte of their ancestors in the heaven of the ances¬ 
tral faith. In almost every country of the world it is 
found that the division of society into classes as a result 
of conquest was in ancient times accompanied by culture 
complexes In religious life, The fusion of the older 
faith with the new had a political aspect that was reflected 
in the various burial customs of a single people. Among 
peoples like the Red Indians of America, who were mainly 


in the hunting stage of dviJizatiotij the existence of mum- 
tniheationj cremation, and water-burial customs cannot be 
explained by appeal to the psychological theory. They 
should all have buried their dead as did hunters else* 
where, and aU hunters should have displayed in this 
connection a “ similar psychology The feet that they 
did not emphasizes the argument that the grfat variety of 
customs that obtained in disposing of the dead was due 
to the introduction from time to time of a variety of 
religious systems of which burial customs were expres¬ 
sions, remaining as historical records. The Red Indians, 
the Aleutian islanders, the Indonesians;, and the Poly¬ 
nesians mummified the dead, and in doing so displayed 
surgical skill they never originated but had acquired. 
The methods they adopted had a history, but the history 
cannot be traced In the New World: it is found only in 
the Old. 


The Milk Goddess and her Pot Symbol 

Ancicni tt^rdmg On^lni— Fo^im w MUk—^Thc Cow MoiHcr 

—Milk Pol Bfld Wiitr Pot—Milt in Rir«n^ Ve^cEntloo* sml the Sty— 
Pot Symbol in Old ntid New Worldi—The Holy Grail and the Pol of Plenty 
— Indian Milt Coddi^ and **Milky Ocean’*-—Holy Men. ** “Foam 
Drinken*^—Cow Mother u GrandmathEr of Horieif Mtlk-yitldEng Treeii 
and Pirrott^Earth Mother in India and Amrnca—Zuni World-pot Myih^ 
The eh timing of Ocean—Twins spring from Ocean Foam—The U nder¬ 
world—Separation of Sky jmj Earth—Mexican Many-breaBted Milk GoddnA 
—Pulqut-yieldlng Agave PUnt—Agavo Sap ai Milk and Neciar—PulqiH; 
Jnf mi '■ Mother Pot“—tpring from Pulque Frolb — Mayaucli the 
A^afc Gcddcii, Mid iho Epheilan Aitemii^—Anvitili ai the Fig Tree—Milk 
Elixir in Muirn, tndia, Grrecvp and Scotland—Milk-yielding Trcea in 
Difcrcnt Lande—Roman Milt GodEjoi and River Milk—Ocean-ehuming 
Myihi in Old and New World*—Agave ai ‘^Tree of Life”—Flih Llnki 
beLwccci Maj'and and Anemii—Puk^ue Godi of War, Deathp and Haoncat 

In various ancient countries the mother godtless was the 
source of al) life—celestial, human, animal, vegetable, and 
mineral.^ The cosmic goddess of ancient £gypt was 
Hathor. She was regarded by the theorizing priests as 
“ the personification of the great power of nature, which 
was perpetually conceiving and creating, and bringing 
forth and rearing, and maintaining all things, both great 
and small Various theories were entertained regarding 
her origin. According to Plutarch, Isis (who ultimately 
absorbed the attributes of Hathor) was often called by 
the name of Athene, which signifes '* 1 have come from 

* ll wi* h#lJ«viM^ ihit Eiunmli |rEW jt|c« plvotk 

' Biidijc, dt Vob I, p. 431. ■ ih Itidt Oifri% Chjpt^t IX. 



In the early periodj however* the goddess was simply 
the gigantic mother who had existed from the beginning 
— 'the first being of whom nothing was known* the per¬ 
sonification of the principle of life. One of her andent 
symbols was the water pot. This pot was at once the 
primeval deep and the Inexhaustible womb of nature. 
Out of the world pot came the gods* human beings, the 
heavenly bodies, the water that fertilisted the land and 
caused vegetation to spring up* the gems* dec., containing 
life substance, and so on. 

The priests puzzled their minds to discover how life 
originated inside the world pot. One of their theories 
was that the water was set in motion by the wind, and 
began to bubble and foam. From the foam sprang the 
first god and goddess* or the multiplying lotus bloom, 
out of which the sun god emerged. The mother goddess 
herself was supposed by some to have arisen from the 
foam, as did Aphrodite from the froth of the breaking 

In the myths that survive to us the simple conceptions 
of the early people are found to be fused with the 
accumulated theories of centuries. It was long after the 
idea of a mother goddess,had had origin that the problem 
of how she came into existence occupied the minds of 
thinking men. 

According to the evidence provided by various ancient 
mythologies, the foam in the pot* or on the primeval 
ocean symbolized by the pot, tvas identified with body 
moisture—perspiration* saliva, tears, semen* or milk. 

The theory that the life principle was in milk has an 
interesting history. At a remote period the Egyptian 
domesticated the cow, and regarded the cow-mother as 
the originator of all life. Her milk fed her children, and 
in her milk were ‘^thc seeds of life". The milk pot 



was identified with the water pot after the theories of 
those who had conceived of a cow mother were fused 
with the theories of those who had conceived of a world 

The idea of the primeval cow mother is found in 
Northern mythology* which preserves not a few archaic 
conceptions. Ymir, the cosmic world giant* came into 
existence where the warm wind from the fiery south 
caused the icy vapours of the dark frozen north to melt 
and form living drops of moisture. Simultaneously the 
cosmic Cow Audhuntla had origin. From her teats ran 
four streams of nailk—^the four primeval rivers of the 
cardinal points—and “thus”, says the Pnse Edda, “fed 
she Ymir”. The body of Ymir was used to make the 

From the fiesh of Ymir the world was formed. 

From his bones were mountains made, 

And Heaven from the skull of that frost-cold giant, 

From his blood the billows of the sea.* 

Here rocks, earth* the sky, and the sea have origin from 
air, heat* and moisture, and the sea is identified with 
blood—the fluid of life. The fluid had its origin in 
moisture, and the first man was sustained by milk. 

The cby pot of the early worshippers of the cow 
mother was the earliest churn. It was observed that 
cream rose to the surface of milk as did foam to the 
Surface of the sea, A pestle was used to chum the 
cream* and butter was produced, Butter was identified 
with fet; both were solidified liquids that could be melted 
when subjected to heat. 

The discovery that a fluid like milk soL'dified when 
churned is reflected in the Indian myth of the “Churning 

* O. Til a/ifc EdJt, f. +7. 



, ; (SJ-^' 

‘ ■ H I - im 




of the Ocean”, As will be shown, this churnmg myth 
was adopted by peoples who had no domesticated milk- 
yielding ammals. 

The offspring of the mother goddess included, as has 
been indicated, the various forms of vfetation which had 
had origin from her tears, or from those of her divine 
sons. Vegetation was nourished by the milk of the god¬ 
dess, which came down flooding rivers as foam, or as 
whitish or yellowish clay, and certain trees and herbs 
yielded a milk-like sap, which was regarded as an elixir 
and was supposed to be the goddess's milk. The Milky 
Way " in the night sky was similarly supposed to be the 
milk of the goddess. 

As the cosmic cow goddess, the Egyptian Hath or was 
depicted with a star-spangled body; her limbs were the 
four supporting pillars of the world. In her human form 
as the goddess Nut she bent over the earth, her legs and 
arms forming the pillars of the cardinal points; her body, 
like that of the cow, was also star-spangled. In one 
interesting representation of the goddess ’ the moon 
emerges from her breasts, into the palm of the god Shu, 
as a pool of milk; the sun, as other illustrations indicate, 
emerged from her womb. 

Ill the ancient Egyptian system of hieroglyphs a bowl 
of water stands for the female principle. Its phonetic 
value is ** nu The male principle in the cosmic waters 
(“nu”) is Nun and the ^male Nut.* As the sky god¬ 
dess, Nut personified the waters above the Hrmametit; 
she was also the goddess of the primeval deep. 

In Babylonia the symbolic pot is held by a god 
who pours out the ferd lining water, that is, the rivers 

^ BtmEc 4 , A Mitafy a/" ^ 55* 

» F, LL tf Smitli, 

^ (iq 19),. |L i7iv 


Euphrates and Tigris. Hapi, the Nile god, js similarly 
depicted as a man with a water pot or vase. 

The Indian “water j>ot” was essentially a sacred 
object. Each ascetic had one. When it was taken from 
him, he was unable to purify himself and could then be 
attacked and slain by demons. A famous ascetic had 
a son who emerged from a saint’s water pot into which 
the seed of life had fallen, and was called Drona (“ pot 
born " The foremost of all wteldcrs of weapons—the 
preceptor Drona—hath", a text states, “been born in 
a water pot 

The symbolic pot and the doctrines associated with it, 
reached the New World. As Brinton states, “the vase 
or the gourd as a symbol of water, the source and pre¬ 
server of life, is a conspicuous figure in the myths and in 
the art of Ancient America. As Akbal or Huecomitl, 
the great or original vase, In A^tec and Maya legends it 
plays important parts in the drama of creation*, as Tici 
(Ticcu) in Peru it is the symbol of the rains, and as 
a gourd it is often mentioned by the Caribs and Tupis 
as the parent of the atmospheric waters. Large reclining 
images, bearing vases, have been exhumed in the valley 
of Mexico, in TIascala, in Yucatan, and elsewhere. They 
represent the rain god, the water-bearer, the patron of 
agriculture.” * 

The symbolic pot is an inexhaustible food-supplier, 
because it contains the fluid from which all things have 
come—the water and its foam and blood-red clay that 
fertilizes parched land when rivers rise and overflow, or 
when, after a period of drought rain falls from heaven. 
It figures as the symbol of life in myth, ritual, and 
romance. Men searched for it as, in the Old and New 

1 Tit {AJi Fatw), Sediou CXXXI, CXXXDC, ini| CLXVUI. 

• Brintw, Tit ifysit tj plU Sfita IFvrlJ, j jt. 


Worlds, they searched for the Well of Llfc^—^that earthly 
**pot" in which the Ufc-giviiig water collected. The 
memory of the pot lingered for centuries in Western 
Europe after Christianity became widespread- In Ar¬ 
thurian romance it is Christianized as the “ Holy Grail ”, 
When Galahad and his fellows found the Grail, they 

angdSf and two bare candles of wax, and a third a 
and ihe fourth a spear which bled marvellously, that three drd[« 
fell within a box which he held with his otlicr hand*^ And they 
wt the candles Upon the table and the third the towel upon the 
vesci, and the fourth the holy spear even upright upon the vesseU"" 

From the Grail emerged a child whose visage *^was 
as red and bright as any fire”. This child entered a 
portion of bread so that ^Mhe bread was formed of a 
fleshly man”. The knights were fed from the Grail with 
“sweet meats”.* 

The earlier Pagan “ Pot of Plenty ” is found in Gaelic 
and Welsh folk-Iitcraturc* Jn the Hindu 
the sun god sends a copper pot to the chief of the Pan- 
davas, from which could be obtained an inexhaustible 
supply of “fruitSp and roots, and meat, and vegetables”. 
The sun was^ in India, r^ardedj like the “water suns” 
of America^ as the source of food and water, 

"converting the cfTccCs of the solar heat (vapours) into clouds 
and pouring them down in the shape of water, causing plants to 
spring up» , . . Thus it is the sun himself who, drenched by lunar 
influence, is iransfornied, upon the sprouting of sccd$, into holy 
vegetables," * 

In both the Old and New Worlds the ancient complex 
ideas regarding the pot, the star-spangled mother goddess 
and her animahj can ho traced in myths, and in the arte 

1 Htft bbod. h tlie fmiUiinf fluid ■Jftnboljitd bjrthe undltn. 

* Aiirit D^t^rTf XVZlp XX« 

* TIh Psrvs pf (hi tiuiiJaLloiaJ^ I i tt 


and crafts. Interesting evidence in this connection js 
provided for America by pottery vessels recently found 
m Honduras,^ 

in India the Hathor cow is Surabhi, “the mother of 
all kinc”, whose daughters bring forth not only calves, 
but horses, long-feathered birds, Nagas (snakes^ milk- 
yielding trees, &c. 

Surabhi is located in RasJ-tala, “ the seventh stratum 
below the earth The milk she yields «is the essence 
of aJl the best things of the earth” It contains Amrita 
(soma); Surabhi herself “sprang in days of old from the 
mouth of the Grandsire gratified with drinking the 
Amrita and vomiting the best of things 

It is told in the MtiAd-^Adfafa^ that: 

"A Mjigle jet only of her milt falling on the earth, created 
what IS known as the sacred and the excellent ‘ Milky Ocean 
The verge of that ocean all round is always covered with white 
foam rcsembline a belt of flowers. Those best of ascetics that arc 
known by the name of the dwell around this ocean 

subsisting on that foam only. They arc rolled F,gm-drinUn be¬ 
cause they live on nothing else save that foam." 

From the “Milky Sea” came “Amrita" (the elixir 
or nectar of the gods), the goddess Lakshmi, the prince of 
steeds, the best of gems, and the wine called “ Vsruni 

.rmTlt “ *'■"8’ “ *" 

The Celestial milk “becometh sut^Aa (food of the NSgas, 
the Jireiit gt^s) unto those who live on jWjirr, mTi/As 
(food of the Aim, the souls of ancestors) to those that 


■ Ttte WW Ma^. iht Bfltuilajii, 

> m p^rva pp. JOS «y. 


live on maMSf and Amrita (food of the gods) to those 
that live oti Amrita 

In a Mah^-bhArata description of the regions of the 
four cardinal points, Surabhi Is placed m the west; 

“It is in this region that Surabhi, repairing to the shores of the 
eatensive lake adorned with golden lotuses, poureth forth her 

The west is the region where "the rivers which always 
feed the ocean have their sources. Here in the abode of 
Varuna are the waters of the three worlds 

Surabhi, "the mother of all kine", has, as has been 
indicated, several daughters, including Rohina from whom 
«have sprung all kine", Gandharvi from whom have 
sprung "all animals of the horse species*’, and Analil 
who "beg.!! the seven kinds of trees yielding pulpy 
fruits”. The tree children of Analil are 

“the date, the palm, the hintaln, the taJi, the little date, the nu% 
and the caco>niit *'. 

SurabhI's daughter Shuki Is "the mother of the parrot 

Here we have not only horses and kine, but also 
parrots and milk-yielding trees connected with the Indian 
Hathor cow. 

As we have seen, Surabhi is located In the Underworld. 
She may be referred to as an '* Earth goddess** (that is, 
a “ world goddess In Bh'uhma Parua of the Makd- 
bhdrata wc read: 

“Earth, if its resources are properly developed according to its 
qualities and prowess, is like an ever-yielding cow, from which the 
three-fold fruits of virtue, pro6i, and pleasure may be milked **. 

* Vm tlw CL 

(Rd/i trifiilitJMjit ppv 2^^^ Tbr^thrw wcrtib'* ire (ij tkc 
Klrffiii, (1] the eirtiilf^ liad |lic qitilrrwgriil. 

^ aidli Lbc InDbEitian)^ p. t G 


Roy notes that Nilakantha explains this passage as 

“ The god^ d^nd on sacrifice performed by human bein^; 
and as Tegards human beings their food is supplied by the Earth* 
The superior and inferior creaturesj therefore^ are all supported by 
the Earthi thE Earth then b iheit refuge. The word J^rth , , . 
is sometimes itscd to signify the world and sametimes the element 
of that name/* ^ 

The famous Rishi Vashishta had a cow named Nan- 
dini which yielded everything that was desired of her". 

^When she was addressed giveT she ever yielded the 
article that was sought. And she yielded various fruits and corn 
both wild and grown in gardens and fields, and milk, and many 
excellent nutritive viands filled with the six different kinds of juice^ 
and like unto nectar itself, and various other kinds of cn/oyable 
things of ambrosial taste, for drinking and eating, and for lapping 
and sucking, and also many precious gems-and robes of various 

Thi$ wonderful cow had ^''ej'es prominent like those of 
the frog", and could speak and weep, “crying so 
piteously"; when enraged her eyes became red, and she 
was “terrible to behold, like unto the sun in his mid-day 
gbry". She then attacked an army* From her tail 
Came fire and demons ; then demons and savages came 
from other parts of her body, many having existence 
“ from the froth of her mouth Here we have the 
Hathor cow connected with the sun, fire, the frog, jewels, 
vegetation, &c. 

These extracts from the AfrfAd-Mdm/d throw con¬ 
siderable light on the religious ideas and myths of the 

I I |Ti.[iiritiaii of Pjrvif^ 

^ Tti* nnnrciktt milk, vti »itrr ii furthn- bf4v|}ii out fn tho 

Kfemicn lo ihi ftiddni LikilitnE, « who wufi i ncekU^e of a ihoaiijid At^Ejinu 
* fUiilv al the mlWj iM " 

Fdr^'4 mf ibc IiiiuIjiIdqJp pp. jot “ 4 - 



pre-Columbian Americans. The Earth mother (or world 
mother") of the Zuni Red Indians has a terraced bowl” 
which is Simply the mother pot" with the stepped 
symbol of Isis mukipticd upon it. She uses her bowl as 
a churn. It is told of hen 

She look ^ great cerraced bowl into which she poured water; 
upon the water she spat, and whipping it rapidly with her fingerS| 
it was soon beaten into foam as froths the soap-weed, and the foam 
rose high up around the rim of the howl. The Earth moiher 
blew the foatn.i Ebke after fiake broke off, and, bursting, cast 
spray downward into the bowl. said she, *this bowl is, as 

it were, the world, the rim its farthest limits, and the foam- 
bounded terrace round about, my features, which they shall call 
mountains * * * whence white clouds shall rise, float away, and, 
bursting, shed spray, that my children may drink the water of life, 
and from my substances add unto the fish of their being,"* 

The Zuni comment on the bowl shows how closely it 
resembles the solar copper pot in the Indian Mfthd-Mdra/a 
and the Hathor pot of Egypt: 

“Is not the bowl the emblem nf the Earth, our mother? 
From it we draw both food and drink, as a babe draws nourish¬ 
ment from the breast of its mother.''^ 

The foam provided by the mother goddess was trans¬ 
formed by the Zuni sun god into gods who were intended 
to serve the human beings in the dark cavc-wombs of the 
goddess of earth * 

I Uere wc mwl with the wlad md water iJei whicti h the (erm af the Ctwneie 
{wind jnd witef) doesrine, the ^^tf ttfcf pid of rtic wnt 'betnj ihv »eni,T« of 
wind, aftd [hf (reen fod of the ail tbf ieurec ef witer. At the A*tee ha^iim 

eerernonj the niSdwirc blew on the wjlcr before iprmltl itig it oa ikt iafinl. The wie4 
u the ♦♦brcuh of life ihe “ wjter" (ai foam, milk, or hloDd) eetiEiini tha Autntian 
of life. !a Jajiaa the mcMuataEtu, rtien, Ac, ire is woU m ire di-vine bd-mp. 
The Hindu Vrilic hytniti eeancct niDUDtAkEU lod ind com, indri drivei 

"cloud ennkri “ end neiite* ^eloud-nicki 

* Citihin^ '^ZjuEii Brcidiluff'' eW AfuriAfc^^A^ VoC ViJl, Ke* 

Yoik, ^3-4)- * *4- 


*‘Thc Ancient Sun pitied tlie children of Earth, That they 
might speedily s« his lights he cast a glance upon a fnam^p float¬ 
ing abroad on the great waters. Forthwith the iboiti-cap became 
instilled with life and bore twin children.'’ 

Thdr shield wa$ "spun and woven "from the clouds so 
that it might ” darken the earth with raindrops ”, their 
bow was the rainbow which dears away the storm 
shadows", and their ‘'arrows” the thunderbolts that 
**rive open mountains’V With the bow “they lifted 
from his embraces the sky Either from the bosom of the 
earth mother”, and with their arrows they broke open 
the mountains to release human beings from “ the cave- 
wombs of the earth mother",® 

The wolf, the dog, or the coyote is the friendly god 
who “opens the way " in some tribal myths. According 
to the I,cniit Lenape Red Indians the primeval race was 
released from the Underworld by a wolf which scratched 
away the soil; the burrowing rabbit, a holy animal, may 
have been connected with the mother goddess for a 
similar reason. Other Red Indian tribes Hite the Man- 
dans and Minnetarres on the Missouri River believed 
their ancestors emerged from a mountain, climbing up¬ 
wards. Caves and fissures in rocks were supposed by 
not a few peoples to lead to the Underworld. The South 
American tribes had, Hke those of North America, myths 
about the Underworld in which their ancestors dwelt in 
happiness before coming to the surface of the earth * 
After death the souls of the dead returned to the land of 
ancestors below mountains, and rivers, and dtean. This 
belief is found reflected in burial customs. The dead 

„ /" iltlrt to pBWttful riTil. Vritrn, wits Ihc lid if f™ih. 

to fwBj tn tto Ml . of f^h II hrgf H 1 bilu ... And hf threw it Vritn 

fc! r.'J thanditio],. And Viihnn, hivin; .ntrred within 

lint ftot^ put in ind t. lb, ifr nf Vrittu." Rny-, p. ij.) 

ij, 1 Bfintnu, Afyst f/TM, Aiw pp. 157 „ 


r[;Lotj£r 'nif Mexican national beveraoe 

Thz nia^iacy, (w f l►^L'rfIhl* P'pecici of prifklj^ ^Tith ** i^tMhjr *'* 

tumt 1(^4 ft ^ncrDUi juppEy ol milky Juicrp when fennejiiei^ ii cnlled *^puEi|Lie*\ 


were deposited in caves^ in the fi of [I'lO u nt^it n 5^ tn 
stone-lined graves* or in wells and in the sea* so that they 
might reach the earth mother^s land of bliss. In China 
and J^pan, in Polynesia* Indonesia, and India, and as far 
westward as the British Isles, traces remain of the ancient 
conception of an Underworld paradise resembling that of 
Osiris in Egypt. 

It may also be noted in passing that the myth about 
the separation of heaven and earth which was known, to 
the Zuni Indians is found also in Polynesia, where Rangi 
is separated from Pappa, and in Ancient Egypt where 
Shu separates Nut from Seb, 

Another form of the world goddess—the many^ 
wombed one of the Zuni Indians—is the many-mouthed 
earth goddess of the Mexicans, who was sometimes 
depicted as a frog with a blood-stained mouth in every 
joint of her body. The mother goddess gave birth P 
mankind; after death she “devoured” the dead* she was 
also the devourer of sacrilices. 

The habit of multiplying the organs of the deities 
was prevalent among the Hindus and other peoples of 
the Old World, It is usually regarded as an expression 
of “great powers in any given direction”. At the same 
time, however, it had a history, as we shall find in dealing 
with the many-breasted mother goddess. 

The Mexican mother goddess of this order was 
Mayaucl. ^ "They feign", writes Kingsborough*^ quoting 
his authorities* “that Mayauel was a woman with four 
hundred breasts* and that the gods, on account of her 
fruitfulness, changed her into the maguey, which is the vine 
of that country (Mexico) from which they make wine... . 
They manufactured so many things from this plant called 
the maguey, and it is so very useful in that country, that 

* Vpi* Vp ff. i7^c. 





the devil took occasion to induce them to believe that it 
was a god and to worship and offer sacrihces to it." 

It ts obvious that, in the first place, the many-breasted 
goddess is a milk-provider who suckles her human off¬ 
spring. Before, however, we consider her in that aspect, 
it would be well to deal with the maguey plant with 
which she was closely associated. 

The maguey, or agave plant arntricami^ is 

a species of prickly cactus with “fleshy*' stems and a 
generous supply of milky juice. It is of slow growth. 
The fable that it takes a hundred years to come to 
maturity lias given origin to its name of "the Century 
Plant In Mexico, where it has long been cultivated, it 
is a deep green shrub with hard prickly or pointed leaves, 
somewhat resembling those of the iris, grouped in a large 
rosette. At the end of about eight years, a long stem 
arises from the centre of the rosette, and is ultimately 
crowned with a voluminous inflorescence. The agave 
blossoms once only. After the fruit forms and ripens 
and the seeds escape the whole plant dies down. 

The agave is cultivated chiefly for its sap. As soon 
as the Mexican perceives that it is beginning to throw 
up the central stem he hollows out the central bole. Into 
the cavity, which is big enough to hold a pail, the milky 
juice of the plant flows freely for three or four months. 
It has to be emptied once or twice daily. The juice is 
carried away in skins, or poured into Jars and barrels. 
In a few days it ferments and accoutres a strong taste and 
very disagreeable odour. 

The fermented juice is called "pulque”. "It is the 
people's chief beverage ", writes an American traveller.' 
“ It tastes like sour and bad-smelling buttermilk, is white 
like that, but thin. They crowd around the cars with it, 

1 A tfhtir n JUfM/a, bf Gilbert lUun, Kevt Ywk, »|?f, Si. 



selling a pmt measure for three cents. , . , It ferments 
fiercel^j and the barrels are left uncorked and the pigs* 
(skin bags*) noses unmuzzled to prevent explosion. You 
will see the natives sticking their noses into the hog's 
nose and drinking the milk of tliis swinish coco-nut, even 
as the^ are dumping it on the platform." 

A very intoxicating liquor disttlled from pulque is 
called mixkal or agmrdknu ife A part of the 

plant is used medicinally and sweetmeats are made from 
the root, while the fibres of the maguey supply hemp and 
paper, and the prickjes can be used for pins and nails. 

“ The abundance of the juice produced by a maguey 
of scarcely five feet In height writes a compiler,^ “ is 
the more astonishing, as the plantations are in the most 
arid ground, frequently on rocks scarcely covered with 
earth. The plant is not affected cither by drought, hail, 
or cold. The vinous beverage is said to resemble cyder; 
its odour is that of putrid meat; but even Europeans, 
when they have l>ecn able to conquer the aversion inspired 
by the fetid smell, prefer the pulque to every other 

The name “pulque'^ has been derived from the 
language of the natives of Chile. In ancient Mexico the 
intoxicating plant juice was called “ocUi" and the agave 
plant itself the “ met! 

According to Sahagun/ the goddess Mayauel was 
simply the discoverer of the agave plants But all deities 
figure as the “discoverers*" of the medicinal herbs, 
precious stones, elixirs, &c., which were supposed to con¬ 
tain their own “life substance”, and to which they gave 
origin by weeping fertilizing tears or shedding their blood. 
As the goddess with four hundred breasts, mentioned in 

^ TM Trmiitr (LDQdon, VaLl, p, 178, BuEIwi anil Hum^ldt. 


I So 

Mayaucl was undoubted!/ in Mexico 
regarded as a personification of the agave plant. 

*^Thc goddess", writes Seler, “is everywhere figured 
seated before or on the agave plant, which the artists of 
the picture-writings always understand how to reproduce 
tolerably true to nature, with its stiff leaves curved 
slightly outwardsj and furnished with spines at the tips 
and along the edges, and with its tall spike of bloom." 
Seler then proceeds to give further important details 
regarding the pictorial representations of the interesting 
many-breasted Mexican goddess^ 

“ On sheet 31 of otsr majni^ript above the root of the plani U 
further seen a snake, while in C^x Laud 9 (Kingsborougli^s 
notation) ihe pUnt rises above a turtle which rests on a dragon 
designed in the form of a coral snake. The goddess herself h here 
in Cw/rjT Bargk pictured with a white garment, hot which is 
edged with a broad hand painted in the colour of the green jewel 
(chalchiuitl), hence to a certain extent rc&crmbics that of the 
Water godded. In her nose she weai^ a blue plate which tapers 
slep-fashion and resembles X^hi^u^txart yarafiafiftkih As with 
the Sun Godf her flamc^olourcdi hair is bound up wieh a jewelled 
chain which hears a convcmional bird^s head on the frontal side. 
The luft of feathers a!iw {iuitmaifi) on the head of the goddess is 
like that worn by the Sun God on sheet 14 of E^rgja. 

Doubtless by this device it was intended to give e^tpresston w the 
^ fiery drink \ . * * On sheet B9 of out manuscript the goddess 
holds in one hand a bowl from which the flower-studded liquor 
foams out, in the other a dish full of stone knives, for pulque is the 
*sliarp’ drink.” .B, p+ J52.) 

Sometimes the bulging pulque jug is shown pierced by 
an arrow with blood issuing from the “wound''* Seler 

"A noteworthy peculiarity is shown by sheet 31 of our manu¬ 
script^ where the heads of a little man and of a little woman arc 
seen in the pulque protruding from the mouth of the jug. The 


I, The niilk-yieWjnl |T« whEfh Birtufiiksd in ihrr Childirrin.^* 

I^Anidiir''^ {Cafr.w J^ati.-tMrruj », MaysiUf U fftddf 11 of itie |]3dilC«, lU^tiilVf; !l fiih 

{€iiJjfx I, pLitii ai ikr^ of lifr^ uitK ^ih in I he '“mol her jHrt" (CbiV^x 

I'iitifaHmi Bj, 4^ CnneentioHati^eiJ thiic tT^r iKf ^tn^auel fijinfs (iritti 

agave flint (Coirx t^anfMm #, 0«e of fhs fniir ?Tcct of 1 U‘e nf ihc Eardinal fninti 

CoJtJtr). EtabfIonian Ehce nf L?fr* 



&ce of the first is painted red, the colour of men; that of the 
waman has a yellow colour, and below the nose hangs the blue 
step-shaped nasal plate yata/mpahtl of the goddess XorArfurfzd/.^ 
Obviously by this picture, as doubtless also by the t/aiiz£9pmtfi 
figures decorating the pulque jug, wine and woman are brought 
into relation. Even now, for instance, amongst the Indians of 
Vera Paz, the marriage ceremony is officially concluded by the 
bridegToom handing the brandy-bottle to the bride." 

A white animal was associated with the goddess of the 
agave plant. The head may be compared to that of 
a fox or coyote; the tail is long. On one of the sheets 
of CoJex Vatmnui B ^No. 31) this animal “ holds m one 
hand a pulque bowl '* and in the other a fan, or a bell- 
studded ring, Scler notes that the same animal Is to be 
recognized in ”the animal-headed priest, who, on the 
famous sheets 25 and z8 of the Dresden Maya manu¬ 
script, introduces the representative of the new year”. 

It may be remarked here that our admiration for 
Seler’s profound researches need not blind us to the fact 
that some of his conclusions are unconvincing. It is dif¬ 
ficult, for instance, to believe that the goddess of the 
agave plant was given a hair tuft of the same feathers as 
the sun god simply because pulque is a “fiery drink*’, 
that a dish of stones knives was placed beside the bowl 
because pulque Is “ the sharp drink ", and that “ wine and 
woman are brought into relation *' by the figures “ decor- 
atlng" the pulque bowl. The feathers, knives, and 
figures had evidently a much more profound significance 
than Seler’s comments would lead us to suppose. As 
much is indicated by the knife-pierced pot ftom which 
blood issues. 

Mayauel, the goddess with four hundred breasts, 
appears, as has been stated, to be in the first place a milk- 

^ Th£ Kpvie uid flnv? loddat. 



provider, a sustaincr of life. She recalls the four hundred 
breasted Artemis of Ephesus, better known by her Roman 
name of “ Diana of the Ephesians . . . whom ", as Paul 
knew well, “ all Asia and the world worshippech ’V Like 
other ancient deities Artemis had many forms. She was 
shown in association with various animals, including the 
lion, the bear, the ram, the bull, the roc-deer, the stag, the 
boar, the hare, &c., which were forms of herself* She 
was essentially a fosterer of life, atid she loathed the eagle 
because it devoured “the pregnant hare" as Aeschylus 
informs us. Farncll notes that she was in one of her 
forms a serpent goddess and a tree goddess, A coin of 
Myra ** shows her in the midst of a cleft trunk from 
which two serpents are starting. Her trees include 
myrtle and pine.® Of special interest is the form of 
Artemis “ on a vase published by Gerhard, where she 
stands in a rigid and hieratic pose, with her forearms held 
out parallel from her body and a torch in each hand; 
above her is a wild fig tree, from which a sort of game 
bag containing a hare is hung as a votive offering".* 

It was evidently as the fig-tree goddess that Artemis 
was depicted with many breasts. Figs were in ancient 
times referred to as ** teats". Some hold that this name 
was suggested by their shape, but Stret * has pointed out 
that the true reason was because the green prts of the 
fig tree, including the fruit, distil a white milk-like juice 
in abundance. “ For that reason we call it lactescent. 
The ancients said ‘lactiferous* or ‘ruminal’. They 
believed, not without reason, that the vegetable milk filled 
with regard to the young parts of the plant the same 
service that animals do to their young.” 

* TAt Atfi Afittifitj XII. 

* FiratlU Cuin ^ Af Gritk V*L It, p. 435. * VeiL IJ* p. ext. 

* vtui, ir, pp, 5^3^ 

■ TattE XXX, pp. 3 35 tt uy. 



An interesting i^ct about the iig tree ts that it never 
blossoms. The fruit is an undeveloped dower. Canon 
Tristram has reminded us in this connection that " the 
fruit of the dg ... is an enlarged, succulent, hollow 
receptacle containing the imperfect dowers in the interior. 
Hence the dowers of the dg tree are not visible until the 
receptacle has been cut open.*' ^ As the fruits (teats) appear 
before the leaves, the tree was personided as a goddess 
with many breasts. 

The prototype of Artemis and other fig-tree goddesses 
was the mother goddess Hathor of Egypt, whose tree 
(the " Tree of Life ”) was the sycamore fig. “ The pecu¬ 
liarity of the sycamorewrites Dr. inglis^ “ is this: the 
iruit all adheres to the stock of the tree, and not, as in 
the common fig tree, to the extremity of the branches 
Hathor, the sycamore goddess, was connected with 
the sky and the sun; as a solar deity she was the “ Eye 
of Ra ", and here, perhaps, we should find the solar con¬ 
nection of the Mexican goddess Mayauel with the sun 
god whose feathers (rays) she wore in her hair. In her 
form of Nut, goddess of the sky, or in her cow form, 
Hathor was depicted with star-sp.i:ngled body. Her milk, 
as stated, formed the ** Milky Way ", which was known 
as “ Hera's Milk " to the Greeks and “Juno's Milk" to 
the Romans. The souls of the dead Pharaohs were 
suckled by the goddesses and fed on the milk and food 
of the sycamore fig tree of Life in the Egyptian paradise.* 
The milk elixir from the sacred milk-yielding trees or 
plants was known In several ancient countries. It was sup¬ 
posed to be specially cfficaeious to children. In Mexico the 
agave plant’s fluid appears to have been regarded as milk, 
as is Indicated by the fact that Mayauel who personified it 

1 Quot^ hf ]ia|ll^ Sl^Ritrai^Jhm Nrw {EdJfltitfjfli, pw li. 

i p, j, ) Br^uEcif ^ in Am-fMai Eupt, ^ i jj. 



was, In one of her forms, a many-breasted woman. Men- 
dicta tdls us that the Mexicans had “ a sort of baptism ” 
and, ** when the child was a few days old, an old woman 
was called in, who took the child out into the court of the 
house where it was born, and washed It a certain number 
of times with the wine of the country (pulque), and as 
many times again with water; then she put a name on it, 
and performed certain ceremonies with the umbilical 
cord". Another ceremony took place at the end of 
every fourth year, when godparents were selected for 
those born during the preceding three years. Children 
were passed over a fire and their ears were bored. Then 
a ceremony was performed ‘’to make them grow*’, and 
“ they finished by giving the little things pulque in tiny 
cups, and for this the feast was called ‘the Drunkenness 
of Children’”.' 

It is evident that these elaborate ceremonies had a 
history. We cannot, however, trace that history in 
America, Children were not given pulque simply 
because it intoxicated them. As an elixir for children 
pulque was, in the first place, regarded as milk from 
the goddess-plant — the milk of the goddess herself. 
This habit had origin tn the Old World, and probably 
in Ancient Egypt, when the “ milk " of the sycamore fig 
was an elixir. In Greece the non-intoxicating “ milk ” 
of the fig was given to newly born children. A similar 
custom appears to have obtained in Ancient Britain. 
The Highlanders of Scotland regarded the hazel as a 
“ milk-tree "; the “ milk ” is the white juice of the 
green nut. A traditional recipe for a tonic for weakly 
children is “comb of honey and milk of the nut” (in 
Gaelic, eir na meala *« baime nm cub). The honey 

^ Banuofif TAf if ft# a/NvrtM AnurkOj VoL UJ^ fm 

e ^£ 37 ^ As. 


is of special iinportaiicei because in Gaelic the bee 
is one of the forms assumed by the soul. Farnell 
reminds us that the bee was one of the symbols of 

In their sober sacrifices ”, from irhidi wine was ex¬ 
cluded, the Greeks oifered four libations. These were 
ra tf5j()«nro»'0a, “libations of water”, xa t^e\irTrav&», “of 
honey ", t« of milk ", and x« tXatdinroi^a, 

“of oil”. These were sometimes mixed together. 

The milk elixir was known in India, as has been 
shown. Soma (Amrita) resembled pulque. It was 
prepared from a plant. It was mixed with milk, and 
“in some cases honey was mixed with Soma”. There 
are references in Aryo-Indian religious literature to 
its “pungent" flavour. “The effects of Soma in 
exhilarating and exciting the drinkers are often alluded 
to.” There are *' many references to sickness caused by 
it A Soma river (Su-soma) is mentioned in the Rig- 
veda,“ “Madhu” (mead) sometimes “denotes either 
‘Soma' or *milk’, or less often ‘honey’. . . . Taboos 
against the use of honey arc recorded.”* 

Milk-yielding trees were the “ grandchildren ” of the 
cow mother. We find very definite evidence regarding 
the beliefs associated with these trees in the Bkhkma 
Parva of the Makd-ikdrahij which throws light not only 
on the American custom of giving pulque to infants, but 
on the custom of depicting in the froth of pulque, as 
in sheet 31 of Codex Vaiieaxxs 5 , “a little man and 
woman", or twin children. These children arc either 
the first man and woman, or twin deities like those who 
have their origin in foam in the Zuni myth. 

* CuItM C/ari VoL It, p. 

* MiKilfracH Mid Kcilk, VoL Itp ff, 4^4 

* f. 4^ * ftp, II j-4. 



It is told in the M.nh 4 ~hhAtaut'^ that in the country ol 
the northern Kurus «there are some trees that arc called 
‘ milk-yielding trees \ These always yield milk, and the 
stx different kinds of food of the taste of Amrita (soma) 
Itself Those trees also yield cloths, and in their fruits 
are ornaments (for the use of man). , . . There twins 
(of opposite sexes) are born. . , . They drink the milk, 
sweet as Amrita, of those ‘milk-yielding’ trees. And 
the twins horn there (of opposite sexes) erow up 
equally.” ® ' 

In India the intoxicating Amrita (soma) was obtained 
from a “ milk-yielding" plant, and milk and nectar were 
rc^rded as being identical. The « fig milk " of Greece 
and the “nut milk” of Britain were not fermented before 
being given to children. When the custom first arose of 
giving infants the niilk-likc sap of trees, it was believed 
that the white fluid was identical with that which came 
from the breasts of the goddess who personified the tree 
It was cel^tial milk, and like the milk of the cow mother 
buntbhi, the Hathor of India, “ the essence of all the best 
things of the earth”. The pre-Columbian Americans 
entertained and perpetuated the Old W’orld ideas in this 
connection In Cudex Vancantu A an illustration depicts 
a group of children getting milk from the branches of a 

''“.I ii^doubtedly a form of the complex 

mo er goddess, the Hathor of America. In an Aztec 
creation myth the first parents of mankind arc “pot 
^rn . Foments of bone are placed in a pot, and the 
blood of the gods js sprinkled on them. A boy and 
giri ernerge, and they are fed by the god Xolotl on the 
milk of the maguey. The Spani.irds called the 
maguey a “ thistle ”, and they translated the Aztec name 

Bwnflfi, Tit VoL IJt, f. if ud «(, 



of the elixir as “ the milk of the thistle '* {la Itthe iatdS). 

An iatercstirif; variant of the mother milk-tree myth 
is found in the Chinese account of the mythical islands 
associated with Fu-sang, one of the Far Eastern “ Islands 
of the Blest”, The island in question lay to the east of 
Fu-sang, It is told that the women there have hairy 
bodies. They enter a river in spring, and when they 
bathe become pregnant. Instead of breasts they have 
white locks at the back of their heads (or hairy organs at 
the nape of the neck) from which comes a liquor (milk) 
that nourishes children. Here wc have the tree 
women ", fertilized by water, whose hair (branches) yield 
milk as do the branches of milk-yicldtiig trees. 

The celestial milk of the mother goddess, who was 
depicted as a milk-yielding tree, an animal, or a many- 
breasted woman, was supposed, as has been stated, to 
nourish all life. It came down in rivers like the Nile, 
the Ganges,’ or the Yellow Kiver of China, which was 
supposed to flow from the Milky Way. Sirct- reminds 
us that the ancient name of the Tiber was Rumon, a word 
derived (tom Ruma and Rumen, signifying milk and the 
teat that produces it. The water of the river had been 
assimilated with the terrestrial milk of the old Ijtin 
goddess Deva Rumina, the divine nurse to whom milk 
was ofFered instead of wine. On earth the goddess was 
represented by the ruminal, or milk-yielding fig tree, 
under which the shepherd found the twins Romulus 
and Rcmu% who were suckled by the shc-wolf form of 
the mother deity, as the Cretan Zeus was suckled by 

" Th« cgnfinmct of iii in Indio. At the poitu of ihc fon^ucncc of tlit 

dirk wilm of tht River Juouij «'idi thw? sriitt thf viicn ertht 

to wWte ffona thr? difRuiem of c&fthjr jartid?* ihnX^ jccardEn* t* the <fpeil gf [He 
nativem* tlhe river flo»i with [If, \L Wilwn, £w^i am SamsArit 

VoL ir, p. n«E« 

^ TaAtie ??XX, pp. 13 S « up. 



the horned sheep of one cult and the sow of another, 
and the Chinese royal foundling was suckled by a tigress. 
The Haidas Red Indians of the north-west coast of 
America had a bear-mother". She was a chiefs 
daughter who married the king of bcars^ and bore him a 
chief who was half human, half bear. 

In India, as we have seen, the milk of the goddess in 
cow form was mixed with the waters of the ** Milky Sea ” 
and was identified with foam. The same ancient doctrine 
IS met with in Egypt, where the Nile god Hapi was 
^mctimcs depicted with female breasts from which milk 
issued forth. The vulture goddesses of Upper and 
Lower Egypt, who were the female counterparts of 
Hapi, suckled the souls of Pharaohs in Paradise. ‘ 

These traces of an ancient cult that believed in uni¬ 
versal milk as the early nutrition of all forms of life are 
of undoubted importance in dealing with the more or less 
obscure survivals in pre-Columbian religion in America. 
The beliefs connected with the milk elixir had been 
fused with those connected with other elixirs before the 
custom arose of making children drunk with pulque. At 
hm milk from a tree or a cult animal was given to the 
young m accordance with a very ancient conception of 
re, personified as a mother or wet-nurse. This fact 

discussing the problem 

peva Rumina); he expresses the belief that, as the oro- 

wouirb^h^^'n''"’ no wine because it 

would be harmful to these small beings ” 

As we find in the MaMhdrata myth of the Milkv 

2 L"nt wer/assimilated aS 

fermented liquors came into use. The vine became a 



rival Tree of Life tp the fig tree. Other plants yielding 
a fluid that was fermented like grape juice were likewise 
regarded as sources of the elixir of life- In India, Amrita 
(soma) was manufactured from the sap of some untdentl- 
fled plant- This sap was regarded as the active principle in 
all life. The Indian cow mother Surabhi sprang feom the 
saliva of the Creator when he was drinking Amrita. She 
had her origin from Amrita, and her milk, when churned, 
yielded Amrita, the wine called V^uni, the gem contain¬ 
ing her “life substance”, &c. 

It was long after the original conception of the All- 
mother had become obscure, and the doctrines regarding 
the milk elixir had been fused with those regarding intoxi¬ 
cating elixirs, that the myths and customs associated with 
Mayaucl and the agave plant were established in America. 
The beliefs were localized in Mexico as they were else¬ 
where. It had been forgotten that the original elixir was 
simply vegetable milk, and that an intoxicating liquor 
should not be given to children or offered to the goddess 
who protected children. The children were given the 
juice of the agave plant because the custom had been 
perpetuated of giving them vegetable “milk”. If the 
custom had had origin in America, we should be able to 
trace its history in that country. It would be possible to 
show that a people who domesticated the cow or the goat 
or the sheep had a goddess who had a cow, goat, or sheep 
form, and had been connected with a tree like the fig 
whose fruits were called “ teats ” and was personified by 
a human deity with four hundred teats. Instead, we find 
the many-breasted Artemis of the Old World identified 
with 3 cactus, which has no resemblance to a fig tree 
except in so far as it yields a milky fluid. 

It would be, further, possible to account for the 
mother-pot symbol associated with Mayauel. That her 


pulque jar h the symbolic pot there c^o be litde doubt. 
It bleeds when the stone knife pierces it, and in its foam 
appear the twins who similarly spring from the foam of the 
ocean in the Zuni myth. The foam is the milk elixir and 
was drunk, because It was Amrita, by the Indian ascetics 
who went called “ foam-drinkers It was the food and 

drink of the gods, the Nagas, and the souls of the 

* Still fiirther proof that the complex doctrines associated 

with milk-yiclding plants and the mother pot did not 
originate in America is afforded by the traces that survive 
of the Old World churning myth. The Mexicans, who 
did not keep domesticated animals, knew nothing about 
butter^hurn. Yet we find that both they and the 
myth received and adopted the churning 

In Indian mythology the Milky Sea is churned so 
that Amrita, the goddess Lakshmi, the best of gems, and 
certain cult animals, may be brought into existence. This 
myth was evidently the original creation myth of the 
ancient fol^k who regarded milk as the source of all life 
In India the myth survives in highly complex form. The 
churn pestle IS Mount Meru on which the supreme ood 

the blue Indo-Egyptian god Vishnu. A NiJga (serpent 
deity) « used as a churning rope. The gods gr^^its 

wlk/iSL*. ’ “■* 'he 

The Indar. form of ihe myth rcKhcd Japan. J„ 

I t'™'™ " 

rtoise, lod the supreme god sits on the summit, 

NHe ^tyloi,™ god Ea and that of the Egyptian 
N.le god Hap,. The sun rises front the corned 



ocean,' The Japanese Shinto mj?th of creation^ as related 
in the Ko-ji-ii and NiAait-gt\ is likewise a churning myth. 
Twin deities, Izanagi, the god, and Izananai, the goddess, 
stand on the floating bridge of heaven ” and thrust into 
the ocean beneath the “ Jewel Spear of Heaven ”, With 
this pestle they churn the primeval waters until they 
curdle and form land,^ 

This complex churning myth reached America. In 
Codex Cortes (sheet 19 B) there is a grotesque but recog¬ 
nizable Maya representotion of the ocean churning. The 
tortoise is, however, on the summit of the mountain- 
pestle instead of being beneath it, and the other form of 
the serpent god appears above his avatar. Round the 
mountain-pestle is twisted a snake, called **a rope” by 
Seler. Two dark gods, evidently demoniac forms of 
deities, like the Indian Asuras, hold one end of the snake- 
rope while the other end is grasped by the elephant¬ 
headed god. To the rope is attached a symbol of the 

In the Zunl myth the world mother churns the ocean 
with her hand. But then Mount Meru was a form of 
the goddess, while the milk of ^ Milky ” was her 
“life substance”. The Zuni mother spits in her bowl; 
her saliva was life substance. Saliva, like milk, blood, 
&c,, was life-giving body moisture. 

Like the mountain, the milk-yielding plant or tree 
was a form of the goddess. The agave plant of the 
many-breasted Mexican goddess Mayaud was identified 
with the mountain used to churn the ocean. On sheet 31 
of Codex ymkanus B there is a snake “ above the root of 
the plant ”, and in Codex Laud 9 “the plant rises above 

^ Sec iUuitration in JickuiD'i a £viJniet tj tAt if Cmlikrt^ 

p. * Wj/ir ^ CAf»# mnj pp^ 

* SclcTf fir 41, p. 4S, 


a turtle which rests on a dragon designed in the form of 

a coral snake 

The a^ve plant was also regarded by the Mexicans 
and other Nahua peoples as the Tree of Life, jtist as was 
the sjeamore fig of the goddess Hathor in Egypt, and as 
were the vine, the date tree, and the pomegranate tree in 
Assyn^ In Udex i^aiia^nus the agave is depicted in 
^ highly conventionahied a form as were the Assyrian 
Hindu, and other cosmic trees. The double spike of the 
bloom rises in the centre, and the massive stem (which is 
more like the trunk of a tree) is adorned with significant 
yiml symbols similar to those on the trunks of the 
ss}rian Trees of Life, while the blooms are treated in 
a manner which is markedly Assyrian. At the lower 
part of the plant, which has four conventionalized leaves 
evidently representing the four cardinal points, the pulquc- 
tonng central bulb «forms”, as Seler puts it «a kind of 

ca^”. It of liquid. -From the roof of tblt„ 

^ aiigs a kind of peg at which a fish is sucking." This 
is evidently a teat Seler, however, fees in it 
only a tube which was reaUy a symbol of a teat “We 
know . he writes, “that in the hole cut out of the heart 

dLwn ST ^ 

andTft f ^ gourd) 

^oks the fact that the gourd was a form of the “ mother 

It is of Importance to note that the soncaUed “cave” 
of the a^vc plant (as the “plant of life ") is formed by 

World mother goddess. The “ oive ” is 
! ent), ike the Zuni world goddess’s bowl, the “pot” 




filled with the water of the primeval ocean—the ** Milky 
Sci". The fish is drinking Amrita milk—the milk elixir 
of life. 

That Mayaucl, as the life-sustaining goddess, provided 
milk not only for human beings and animals, but also 
for fish, is shown clearly in Cedex Borgia K Whereas’*, 
says Seler, “the other goddesses, and even Mayauel of 
Codex Fej&vdry^ have a child at the breast, this Mayaud 
of Codex Borgia is suckling a fish," 

It may seem absurd that a fish should be placed at the 
breast of a goddess in human fcirm. But this absurdity 
has a history. The goddess Neith of Egypt, who Is 
generally regarded as having been originally a Libyan 
deity, was in one of her forms depicted as a woman “with 
a crocodile sucking at each breast The crocodile was 
a form of the god Sebek who was called the “son of 
Neith " as far back as the Pyramid Age.* Neith, as the 
Great Mother, was a milk-providing deity and the croco¬ 
diles were her twins, 

Artemis was like Mayauel, connected with the fish. 
She was a goddess of lakes, marshes, and streams, as well 
as of mountains, trees, and herbs. Parnell * draws atten¬ 
tion to an interesting archaic representation of Artemis as 
a “ fish goddess" on a strange vase found in Boeotla. 
On cither side of her are snarling beasts, regarded as lions, 
and two water birds heraldically opposed like the lions, 
A bull's head appean; below one of her extended arms. 
On the lower part of the goddess’s gown is a fish with its 
head pointed upwards as in the "cave" of the agave plant 
of the American goddess Mayauel. 

■ E iUiutratiflii in UXn't Cd^rJt P, Ag, p. i^G. 

* Bud^T CaJi VoL p. ^ ^ 1 ^ plate 175, Ka, ]* 

* ftudgii;, ritf VpIh Ip pr Nole 1. 

* Ckiii du Gretk Statrif Vai, p, 54 mi pUtc X.XIXa 




Farjiell, dealing with this connection between Artemis 
and the fish, refers to the half-fish, half-woman form of 
that goddess which Pausanias saw at Phigaleia.* Deities 
with fish terminations were depicted in Babylonian art. 
It Is of special interest to find that the seafaring Kams- 
chatdales had a godde^ with fish termination*. India 
has a fish awtar of Vishnu, and the god was depicted 
issuing from the mouth of a fish. The Japanese have the 
latter form of the sea god, and also the Indian Ntigas in 
their half-human, half-rcptiJe forms. In Polynesia the 
god of the Underworld had a human head and body 
^‘reclining in a great house in company with spirits of 
departed chiefs ”, while “ the extremity of his b^y was 
said to stretch away into the sea, in the shape of an eel 
or serpent '*,* 

The Kamschatdales and other Siberian tribes, who 
worshipped the half-fish form of the Far Eastern Artemis;, 
manufactured for themselves intoxicating and stupefying 
drinks which had a religious value like the pulque of the 
Mexicans. An intoxicating fungus was eaten and also 
made into a drink in order to produce prophetic states of 

According to Mexican tradition, the art of making 
pulque was first discovered on "the mountain called 
thereafter PopoconaltcpctI, * mountain of foam ’ Saha- 
gun tells that "all the principal old men and old women 
were invited, and before each guest were placed four cups 
of new wine”. One of the guests drank a fifth cup and 
disgraced himself. He was forced by shame to flee with 
his followers to the region of Pinuco, and founded the 

' CaJit if tkr GFtek Vflt, If^ p, 521, 

^ Rrddcl Hirm, T4'# Atlint p, 

® A'r^fivtTi p, 

* RepdeL Hattii, Tij Cipirfut^ Pi IOQl 



nation afterwards known as the HnasCcca.^ The four 
cups were evidently dedicated to the four gods of the 
cardinal points and the ofFence of the guest was no doubt 
of religious significance. Unlawful pulque tipplers were 
beaten to death in ancient Mexico.® 

The agave plant (met!) was connected with the moon 
(met7.tlj) in which was a rabbit, and the moon was 
enclosed In the same U symbol that enclosed the cave 
of the agave pbnt with its fish. There were four 
hundred pulque gods who were known as the “ Four 
Hundred RabbitsThey were harvest gods. Mayauel, 
as the milk-providerj nourished the crops like the milk 
goddess of the Old World* According to Sahngun, one 
of the pulque gods was supposed to have “ found the stalks 
and roots of which pulque Is made — that is, he found, 
according to Seler, ^*what was added to the pulque to 
enhance its intoxicating narcotic strength ”, These roots 
were called c£-pa^^^, ** pulque physic**. The god who 
discovered them was named Patecatl (*^he from the land 
of the [pulque] medicine**).^ The L) symbol is worn as 
a nose ornament by pulque gods, and figures on pulque 

Pulque was drunk to celebrate the new harvest, and 
other auspicious events^ It not only Inspired men to 
prophesy but to perform deeds of valour*, warriors drank 
pulque, and pulque gods were sometimes depicted as war 
gods- Pulque was also an elixir which promoted longevity 
in this world and the next, A curious myth tells that 
the pulque god Ometochtli was killed by the god Tez- 
catitpoca, because if he did not die all persons drinking 
pulque must die”- It is explained, however, chat *^the 

* Raaeroflp Tjltf Rarti ^ sAw ^icrfrr ^ Vnl. V, 1*7-®.. 

■ p. IjH, 1^. 



death of Omctochtli was only like the sleep of one drunk^ 
and that he afterwards recovered and again became fresh 
and well 

The connection of pulque and the pulque deities with 
death and life is indicated by sheet 3 r of CsJex f^atkaxus 
5 . A red man and a blue skeleton, each holding a vessel 
with protruding snakes' heads, are shown in front of 
a pulque vessel.* Here apparently the vessel is the 
pot of the mother goddess who provides the milk 
elixir m this world and the next. 

Just as many ancient myths and practices can be traced 
in ancient Mexican religion, so do we find survivals in 
Christianized Mexico. Brin ton in his Naguaiism (Phila¬ 
delphia, 1894) quotes Father VeCancurt's statement re¬ 
garding the Mexican custom of circulating fires and 
throwing new pulque into the fiames. In ancient Mexico 
pulque (octli) was always offered to the god of fire, as 
was soma in India. “Let us pour forth soma to Jata- 
vedas (fire) ", says a Vedic hymn (Muir 3 Saitsiril Texif, 
Vol, IV, p, 499). 

Another survival is referred to by Gilbert Haven in 
his /f iVinter in Mexico (1875, p, 136); he tells that the 
Mexicans associate with the maguey a white rat, a white 
worm, and a brown worm, which they eat. These are 
forms of the dragon referred to on p. 180. In China 
and Japan the dragon had white rat and worm forms, as 
De Visser has shown. 

^ SiEetp sjp. p, 

^ Sfirr, p, I ^ 


The Jewel-Water and Mugwort Goddess 

A Vir^n-ingthcr Gciddcsi^HcT ConncctiOD with %VAicr and Preclom 
Stones^A Luqat uid I>city—Goddcti of Birth—^Hcr Htrb Modiiciitei 

for Wqancn and Children— Remover of Origifkal Sifi—Were Celibate!— 
Nomca ol GcHldcu-^Her Idol! and Symbals^Thc Mathcr-pnt—The Mugwon 
Mountaia^Linki with x^rtemis as Herb, Mpuntaini and Waler I>eity^ 
Mu^ort Belief! in Greece^ Siberia, Chinm. iuid Japan — Old ami New World 
SymboUim of ShdK Jsu3e+ and H«bi—“Jewd Watee" » Life Blood—Grocn 
Stpoct m Funerary Amulelt—Gchid«4« in Old aiol New W'orld Deluge 
Legendi — The American *^Lady of ihe Lake^—Llnki with Syrian Ooiidci*— 
Amenean Goddeii of Mimagc—BapEiitn Ceremonies—Luaintibn by Fire— 
The Buicerdy cooneoted with Firr Ib Scodlantd and Mclic^cl^Thje Butterfly 
SquJ m Old and New Worlda. 

Among the American goddesses, Chalchiuhtlicue,* “she 
whose gown consists of green jewels’* (cka/chiuitl)^ is of 
outstanding interest. She is a virgin-mother, who is 
sometimes depicted suckling a child. In this and certain 
other respects she links with Mayauel, as both do with 
Artemis and that great prototype of so many goddesses, 
the Egyptian Hathor. Mayauel, however, as has been 
shown, is fundamentally the milk-provider; Chalchiuhtlicuc 
Is more intimately connected with water and marsh plants, 
and especially with the green jewel containing “life sub¬ 
stance"—the “jewel water" (“life blood") of the Mexican 
texts, and, indeed, with all precious stones worn as talis¬ 
mans. As a water goddess she is a “Lady of the Lake", 
a goddess of streams and of the sea, and as such she was 

^Prouoojiosd Cbi]'db>ir^t''^dk-w!y^ 



ftdored by water-sellers, fishermen, and seafarers in general; 
she is a weather controller who can raise tempests and still 
the storms. Her snake form and frog form emphasize 
her connection with water; like her brothers, the Tlaloque, 
and her spouse, the god Tlaloc, she sends rain to give 
sustenance to crops. Like Artemis she is connected with 
high mountains as well as with lakes, marshes, and streams; 
and like other water goddesses she is connected with the 
waters “above the firmament", and is therefore a sky 
goddess. In the latter connection she is a lunar deity 
and the mother of the stars of the northern hemisphere 
(Cetttz 9 » Mimixcoa), Her cardinal point is the west, as 
it is that of the mother goddess of China. The Chinese 
god of the west is the tiger, and ChalthiuhtUcue is associated 
with the Jaguar (the American tiger). 

As a mother goddess she presides at birth, and prayers 
are offered to her to assist birth. Like Artemis she 
provides herb medicines, and especially those required by 
women and young children. Children are baptized with 
water to secure protection from her, and she protects the 
dead on whom holy water is sprinkled. As a compassionate 
and beneficent goddess she washes away sin, including 
original sin, “the filth "an infimt inherits from its parents. 
As a “culture deity” she gives the shield and the bow 
with arrows to male children, and the spindle, distaff, and 
weaving implements to female children. Her priests, like 
those of the great mother goddess of Western Asia, arc 
celibates, and greatly given to fasting and penance and 
solemn meditation, and they enter her temples bare¬ 
footed and in silence, clad in long, sombre-coloured robes. 
Like Mayauel, the Zuni mother goddess, and other world 
gi^desses in the New and Old Worlds, she is connected 
with the symbolic pot—the ancient “water pot” whence 
all life was supposed to emerge at the beginning. 


The attributes of this complex goddess arc revealed 
by her names, her Idol-forms, and the pictures of her in 
the Codices. As Apoconallotl she is “foam of water", 
a name of special significance, seeing that foam was 
connected with milk and, as in the Zuni myth, with saliva; 
as Acuecueyotl she is “water-making-waves'’; as Ahuic 
she is “motion of water" (the swelling and fluctuation 
of water); as Xixiqutpilihui she is “rising-and-fklling-of- 
waves" (the ebb and flow of tides, ; as Atlacamani 
she is "sea-storm", and as Aiauh she is "mist" (and also 
apparently "spray "), All these names connect her with 
the "water-pot” myth. Life had origin when the water 
in the “pot" began to move and foam and rise, producing 
spray and mist and rain-dropping clouds. The goddess 
controls the pot-water in all its manifestations. 

Among the Tlascaltecs our "jewel-water" goddess was 
known as Matlalcucjc ("clothed in a green robe"), and 
her mountain is the highest in Tiascala; it attracts the 
stormy clouds that "generally”, as has been recalled by 
various writers, "burst over the city of Puebla", On the 
summit of this mountain the goddess was In Pagan times 
worshipped and sacrificed to, as was the Cretan mountain- 
goddess who, as Sir Arthur Evans has shown, had an 
intimate connection with the sea, being the Minoan 
Aphrodite, a dove-and-serpent goddess. 

The Aztecs of Mexico generally depicted Chalchiuht- 
iicue as a woman with a blue forehead and the rest of her 
face yellow. Turquoise car-rings dangle from her ears. 
She had therefore a solar connection, as had the Egyptian 
Hathor, who was likewise connected with turquoise, for 
ear ornaments are solar symbols. On her head is a blue 
cap with plumes of green feathers. Her dothlng consists 
of a blouse and a blue skirt fringed with marine shells — 
another link with Hathor. She wears white sandals. In 


her left hand she grasps a shield and a white water-lily, 
and in her right hand a vessel shaped like a cross, 
evidently a symbol of the four cardinal points. 

In Codsx Sergia (%, 292) she wears a helmet mask 
formed by a snake’s throat, the fiice being painted yellow, 
“the colour of women”, says Seler.^ «but with two short 
broad bands of a deep black colour on the lower edge of 
the cheek, which are also met with on Mexican stone 
effigies of this goddess, indicated by sharply rectangular 

These lace lines arc of special interest j no doubt they 
had a very special significance. It may he that they had 
Some such meaning as had similar symbols, interpreted as 
the written character wavg (“king”) on the forehead of 
jade representations of the Chinese tiger gcxl of the west, 
and on shields, on soldiers’ buttons, and on amulets, 
^ufer shows that the simple stroke-symbols appear on 
“a strongly conventionalized figure of the tiger, with an 
arrangement of spiral ornaments on the body such as is 
met with also on other jade pieces connected with the 
sj^bolism of the quarters”* As Chalchiuhtlicue was 3 
jade or jadcite deity, it would not be surprising if her 
symbols are found to have a similar significance to those 
connected with jade or jadelte in the Old World. 

In the CoJex Botgia^ Chalchiuhtlicue wears the well- 
known nose U symbol, as also do the pulque dciries. 
This symbol is widely distributed in the Old World 
and is associated with the mother goddess and with the 
four qmrters. It appears to be connected with the pot 
of the Great Mother; sometimes it is shown with serpent- 
heads at enher end or with the “stepped” ornament—a 
world-symbol connected with Isis and Osiris; in E^Pt 
women s wigs were given the U shape, with spiral termina- 


Fftml ?iivii hMk TEpNi* 

<‘Bri[iih Muieum]| 


tions enclosing solar symbols; the boat of the sun god is 
sometimes depicted as a U with a dot Inside It. The 
mother goddess was the boat^ and the boat was,, apparently, 
her womb—“ the house of Horus ”, which is what Hathor’s 
name happens to signify. As the ear-ring was a solar 
symbol, the nose ornament was evidently connected with 
the “ breath of life ” as well as with “ the moisture of life”. 

An interesting illustration in Cn^ex B^trgia (fig. 539) 
connects Chalchiuhtlicue with the symbolic pot and the pot- 
twins. Tlatoc is the central figure. A stream of water 
Issuing from his body falls into a green vessel—a water 
pot—in which are seated two images of Chalchiuhtlicue, 
one painted green and the other painted blue, with shell 
discs in their hair.’ 

One of the most pleasing of all the representations of 
the goddess is a stone figure in the British Museum, 
which shows her on her knees, apparently in a religious 
pose, with lips apart as if repeating a formula and an 
earnest expression on her frank, maidenly fiicc. 

The goddess's connection with marsh plants. Including 
grasses, reeds, the white water lily, and especially tiie 
mugwort or wormwood ^Ariemhia)^ is of far-reacbing 
importance. In Csdex she is shown in association 

with a bunch of dried herbs, an indication that she was in 
the ** herbal profession ”, as Dr. Rendel Harris puts it in 
another connection. Seler suggests that she is a provider 
of "healing draughts of physic”. Her mountain near 
Mexico was called Yauhqueme, which signifies ^‘covered 
with mugwort”. She dwelt on that mountain. In like 
manner Artemis dwelt on Mount Taygetus, and her herb 
Arumhia grew there. *‘The presence of Artemis in the 
mountain”, writes Dr. Rendel Harris, ts "due to the 
plant, and Artemis is the plant”, one of the names of 

■ C*dfM Vafkmm Bj p. 11^4. 



which h “tay'gete 5 *\ This name only refer to the 
mountain in Laconia (Mt Taygetui^}, which Is, more 
than any other district, sacred to Artemis 

Dr* Rendel Harris goes on to show that ^Hhe plant 
{Ariemiiia) is Artemis and Artemis is the plant Artemis 
is a woman^s goddess and a maid's goddess, because she 
was a woman^s medicine and a maid's medicine* If the 
medicine is good at child-birth, then the witch-doctress 
who uses it becomes the priestess of a goddess, and the 
plant is projected into a deity/' 

Artemis, like Chalchinhtlicue, assisted at birth and in 
the rearing of children; her herb was a child's medicine 
as well as a woman's medicine* It protected people 
magically, and was carried by travellers, and was hung 
over doors to keep houses safe from attacks by demons. 
The expression "Artemis of the Harbour” connects 
the goddess with seafarers; like ChaJehiuhtlieue she sent 
winds, and her herb was supposed to protect mariners 
against tempests. 

Other links between the American and Creek goddesses 
are brought out in the following pssages from Dr, Rendcl 
Harris's book 

^The hcrhaliSES tell us to look for the plant by rtntncls and 
ditches, and some add {perhaps with Mt* Taygetus in mind) in 
stony places^ Wc ttiim: try and find what the earliest of them say 
as iQ the habitat of ihc plants If they mention marshes or lakes, 
then j4rimh Limna^a is onEy another name for the Artemisia, or 
for some other plant in her herb garden, 

i$ agreed on all hands that Artemis, in her earliest forms, 
is a goddess of screams and marshes j sometimes she is called the 
River Aricmis, or Artemis Potamia, and sofneiimcs she is named 
^tcr swamps generally as Limnsa, the Lady of the Lake (Mi^ 
Lake), or Helcia, the marsh maiden (Mbs Marsh), or from some 
particular tuarah as Stymphalos, or special river as the Alpheios. 

1 Th tj f. jj. i jp, 


It seems to me probable that tliis is to be explained by the 
existence of some fiver or maisb plant which has passed into 
the medical use of the early Greek physicians.” 

Dr, Harris tells that the goddess was also given names 
after the diseases cured by her herbs. There are traces 
of an *‘Artemis Podagra, the herb that cures gout, and 
Artemis Chelytis, which seems to be a cough mixture”. 
The mugwort gout cure was famous enough to be imported 
into China, Professor Giles wTites in this connection to 
Dr. Harris: 

“There is quite a liccrature about jfrltinish vit/garis^ L., which 
has been used in China from time immemorial for cauterizing as a 
counter-imtant, especially in cases of gout. Other species of 
Artemisia are also found in China," ^ 

As has been indicated, the mugwort cure and the 
goddess associated with the plant reached Siberia, and 
were acquired by the seafaring Kamschatkans, who had 
a goddess with fish termination and a herm-god. “The 
discovery of the primitive sanctity of ivy and mugwort 
and mistletoe (in North-eastern Asia) makes”, says Harris, 
“a strong link between the early Greek and other peoples 
both East and West, and it is probable that we shall find 
many other contacts between peoples that, so far as 
geography and culture go, are altogether remote.” * 

An immortal lady, known in Chinese lore as Ho Sten 
Ku and in Japanese as Kasenko, is said to have fed on 
mothcr-of-pe.arl, which made her move swiftly as a bird. 
She is usually depicted by Japanese artists <*as a young 
woman clothed in mugwort, holding a lotus stem and 
flower and talking to a pheenix”, or “depicted carrying a 
basket of loquat fruits which she gathered for her sick 

^ TJw Atetiti ^ aeli! p. 9E, Note 1+ 

^ pp- $9-i0Chi * Lfgfitd n JfsfuMmtM jiri, f. 



Here we have the mug^ort connected with pearl- 
shell and the lotus. This lotus is a cult symbol, just 
as the white water-lily Is a cult symbol In America, and 
is associated with Chalchiuhtlicue. The pearl-shell, like 
the mugwort, ensures longevity. Both are depositories 
o life substance . Chalchiuhtlicuc, as has been shown, 
IS aissoctated with shells; she wears them in her hair and 
on the fringes of her skirt. She is also the goddess of 
precious stones, and especially of jadeite. In China the 
symbolism of shells Is Identical with that of jade or jadeite. 
The shells, jade, jadeite, &c., the mugwort, the “fungus 
of immort^ity", Sec., cure diseases, prolong life in this 
world and in the next, assist birth, and so on. In short, 
the symbolism of the American variety of mugwort 

sliells, is identical to tliat of 
the Chmese. h it possible that the complex beliefs 
involved were of independent origin in the New and 
UId \\orIds? There is nothing “natural” in the idea 
that shells, herbs, and minerals contain “life substance" 
which cure disease, ease pain, and prolong life, or in the 
arbitrary association of herbs with jadeite and shells. As 
we ain tr^e the history of the complexes in the Old 
World and cannot do so in the New World, the only 
reasonable conclusion that can be drawn is that the hotch¬ 
potch of quackery associated with Chalchiuhtlicuc was 
miported into China and into America by a people who 
have left no written records of their actiyitiesT The 

his way through 

a ^ckless African forest, picks up a box of pills manV 
rtured m h,s native land, docs not assume that the 
na iv« have minted them ; he never doubts that the 
p Us were cither dropped by a white man who has preceded 

Just as the pills and the belief m their virtues were trans- 


ported from a distant area of origin, so, apparently, were 
the ntcdiclncs of the Amencati goddess, ChalchiuIitliCLie, 
carried across the Pacific. 

The association of this American deity with jadeite 
was apparently in no way accidental. There is nothing 
about a green mineral or a green stone to suggest that 
it can impart vitality to human beings. In America it 
was connected with life-giving water and with life blood. 
In Codex Bsr^n (fig. i if is a picture of a priest gouging 
out his eye, «that is", says Seler, “sacrificing himself, 
drawing blood from Incisions in his own body to bring 
it as an oflTcring to the gods”.® Another picture (fig. 
392, Cadex Valkanus B) shows a young warrior offering 
blood by piercing one of his ears, and carrying in his 
right hand a wlnged-disc symbol marked with the cross 
of the four quarters and a sea shell. In the picture of 
the priest is found “the hieroglyph chakhiuiti (‘green 
jewel'), and the hieroglyph atl (*water’), which", says 
Seler, “combined yield chakhiukatl (‘jewel water’). . . . 
This ‘jewel water' is meant to denote blood", which is 
“the precious water of mortification",’ 

The “jewel water" is not only “the blood drawn 
from the penitent", but “the precious moisture that 
drops from heaven”. It is life-giving water—water 
impregnated with “life substance j the blood offered 
by the priest or warrior “was intended to bring down 
the rain on the fields’*.* 

Those who have urged the view that the green stone 
symbolized green water, and that the green stone al^ 
symbolized the green corn or young grass, find their 

I Rcprot£u«4 in ^ ^ 1 S 41 ^1- 19^ 

« Thr wm of Etfprian arEppv, HS* In Otirii 

MO tbNt be mi^bl bsegmt im iroTnwt»L The »Eiltlc In llie eye'' wi4 ihx; imit. 

* CtJdt pr * thiJrf p. 7S^ 


theory put to a severe test bjr the discovery that Cr6- 
Magnon man, when it) the Aurignacian stage of culture, 
made use of greet) stone amulets. Small green pebbles 
are found between the teeth of some of the Cr6-[VIagnoii 
skeletons in the Grimaldi caves near Mentone, Cr^ 
Magnon man did not practise agriculture; he was 
a hunter. The Mexicans and other pre-Columbian 
Americans were in the habit of placing a chakbitiUl (a 
green stone amulet) “between the lips of the deceased’7 
As Brintoj) puts it, “they interred with the hones of the 
dead a small green stone which was called ‘the principle 
of life**’.® Idp ornaments were comrocted with the heart, 
as ear ornaments were with the eye and soul (“ the little 
man in the eye”). In one of the Mexican creation myths 
the gods sacrificed themselves to the sun so as to give it 
power to rise : 

“So they like gods; and each left to the sad and wondering 
men who were his servants his gaiments for a tncmorial. And 
the servants made up, each parly, a bundle of the raiment that 
luiii been left to them, binding it about a stick into which diey had 
bedded a imaiigrttn time to serve as a heart. These bundles were 
called /ZnpfwiVM, atid each bore the name of that god whose 
memorial it was; and these things were more reverenced than the 
ordinary gods of scone and wood of the country. Fray Andres de 
Olmos found one of these relics in Tlalmanalco^ wrapped up in 
many cloths, and half rotten with being kept hid so long.”* 

The Quiches in like manner worshippetl a great 
bundle left by one of their divine ancestors, and burned 
incense before it. They called it “the Majesty Enveloped”. 
A sacred “bundle” was given up to the Spanish Christians 
by a Tlascaltec some time after the conquest. It was 

’ Racfi^ V( 4 * I p. 454^ 

* jTA^- jrlr AVvij 3:94- 

■ VgL ill, pp. il>4* 



supposed to contain the remains of Camaxtlii the chief 
god of Tlascala,^ 

The habit of wrapping sacred stones in cloth was 
known in the Scottish Highlands. Green stones were 
worn as amulets by the Hebrideans.* 

The Cr6-Magnon and Mexican custom of placing a 
green stone In the mouth of the dead was known in 
China. The Chinese placed jade amulets in the mouth 
to preserve the body from decay and stimulate the soul 
to ascend to the celestial regions. These amulets were 
shaped to imitate the cicada. The cicada, creeping out of 
the earth, changes its form, spreads its wings and soars 
into the air.* 

The Ancient Egyptians regarded the green scarab, 
which was interred with the dwd, as a life prolongcr; 
it was addressed, '‘My heart, my mother—my heart 
whereby I came into being".* 

in China gold, pearls, or cowries might be substituted 
for jade as a mouth amulet, “If", runs a Chinese text, 
“there is gold and jade in the nine apertures of the corpse 
it will preserve the body from putrefaction.”'' Another 
text states i “On stuffing the mouth of the Son of Heaven 
(the Emperor) with rice they put jade therein ; in the case 
of a feudal lord they introduce pearls; in that of a great 
officer, and so downwards, as also in that of ordinary 
officials, cowries are used." De Groot comments m this 
connection, “The same reasons why gold and jade were 
used for stuffing the mouth of the dead hold good for 
the use of pearls”, and be notes that pearls were regarded 
as “depositories of yang matter”; that medical works 

* fiincTvfii riA, VoL lit, p, FUJ Ntrtc 9, for iulbnitPrL- 
^ DkIkII, tv ph 14^1- 

^ Laufer, pp^ 

■dJ Ch*^- * GiJt tf iAt Egjfftaami^ Vfll. I, p* I jl. 


declare “they can further and facilitate the procreation of 
children”, and that they arc useful “for recalling to life 
those who have expired or are at the point of dying 

There is much evidence in the Old World to show 
that the early searchers for the elixir of life connected 
precious stones with herbs; they sought for shells, and 
when they found pearl-yielding shells they regarded the 
pearl as the very “life of life”; the syrnl^lism of shells 
and pearls was imparted to green stones, to green malachite, 
to gold and other metals, to jade, to amber, to coral, to 
jet, in different parts of the ancient world. Jade was 
found in Chinese Turkestan and imported into Meso¬ 
potamia during the Sumerian period. It was imported into 
Europe by the carriers of hronae. Laufer has emphasised 
in this connection (Chapter 11 ) that there must have been 
a psychological motive for the search for jade, and he 
refuses to believe that the early Europeans “incidentally 
and spontaneously embarked on the laborious task of 
quarrying and working jade”. He finds “no vestige 
of originality in the pre-historic cultures of Europe”. 
The same can be said of the cultures of pre-Columbian 
America, There must have been a psychological motive 
for the search for the jadeite and the mugwort with which 
Chalchiuhtlicuc was so intimately associated. 

The more closely the character of this Mexican goddess 
is investigated, the more abundant become the links 
between her and certain Old World deities. In Codex 
Borgia (sheet 57) she is shown in association with the 
god Tlaloc, Between the pair is arAu/f^iaiz/jewel, shaped 
like a two-handed pitcher, from which a naked human 
being emerges. This pitcher is evidently a form of the 
symbolic mother-pot. Both deities have strings of jewels 
coloured green, blue, and red. In the Far East red 

* ]&e TAr Bogk 174 Jft 


I, Mflk fTrfi oF (AltcaB^tOi * W-wr Hrtk vril«w halt w 

ud purpk face wiltv 'I'Lilfti; tyc. irrlb, BfVife Wnc •cffpCflB nnwr and llfS mrtoUrtdtfl bj gTern 
marab pLaftll i*irb K«i italk^. Thrft ar? -hrlli And itt blue iTJlrf bdo^ r^J riBBU 

fl7&/j:A / jftMauj .-f\ s, CluJthiiihflifTiB iiEck]jn| fhfclii. In fTEn^i of jb? I Ijftt of 
Life ftJie Baby ton tsn mr-gil-mu) gmwiiv|t from pol «iib blMhl and K«rt 

iCaJifc ^WrviirT-itliij^r]. 1 , Lhakltluhfclkue fiAb ^odileii in WAlcr dwteitdang to tinl 
Tii^n prrtd woniftP^ iiirvivori o( a dclutgt f jah-jajm 


pearls were supposed to be depositories of life substance— 
the fire and blood of life. 

There is in Coj/ex Laud a picture of a man wearing 3 
jewel {^c/sa/chiuii/) over his heart and presenting a bird as 
an offering to his goddess. The goddess offers him a pot 
and a c&zcatl (chain of beads). Seler ascribes to this scene 
the meaning of sexual intercourse.^ Other illastrations 
show chains of beads held in the mouths of opposed 
deities^ such as the god and goddess of lovc» in the form 
of quetzal birds {Csdex Laud^ 36^ and C^dex Borgia^ 5S)* 
the descent of a jewel between a male and female as the 
descent of a child [Cftdtx 35), and a god drawing a 

chain of jewels from between the breasts of a goddess^ 
symbolizing the birth of a child or children (Odiwt Laud^ 
36). Seler* discussing these and other pictures* writes: 
“The jewel {chakhimtl)^ the neck ornament* the chain of 
beads the feather adornment (^tfr/zd/Zr), all this 

is still the child— nopUhtze^ Hdtu^qtte^ ffe^ve/zd/r**my child, 
my chain of beads, my feather ornament'”* The bird, as 
a symbol of fecundity, figures in MahA-bhdrata myths. 

In Japanese mythology and Nihsngi) we have 

the god Susa-no-wo and the goddess Amatedisu producing 
children by standing on either side of tbe “celestial 
river” (the "Milky Way'^ and crunching jewels; they 
blow away the fragments and these take human form.* 
The Mexican love and flower god {XMkipiili')^ who in 
Codex Laud and Codex Bar^a acts a part as a gem 
cruncher similar to that of Susa-no-wo, is also like that 
god connected with the lower regions as well as with 
the heavens. 

Chalchiuhtlicue was, like the goddess Ishtar, connected 
with the deluge. According to the interpreter of Codex 

1 pr a 15, fif. 4.6(1 ^ SeSef* Cvitx PF* * 

* Set mjF M/ih ^Ckima axJyapam^ sHidlet ia ladci. 

t P tt* > 



TeHenana-Remensh she saved herself, and was the woman 
who survived the dduge. It is also shown that she was 
represented holding in one hand a spinning-wheel and In 
the other a weaving implement. In Codex VatiMnus she 
stands on foaming water on which a burnt-offering of 
firewood and rubber^ is seen floating. She grasps a bone 
dagger and an agave spike used for ceremonial blood- 

The mythical Chinese Empress, Nu Kwa, similarly 
figures as the “Royal Lady of the West", taking the 
place of Ishtar, the friend of mankind, who, in the 
Babylonian deluge myth, lifted up her “great jewels" 
and cried i 

«What gods these are I By the jewels of hph hxaft which are 
upon my neck, I will not forget I . . . 

Let the gods come to the oSering.” 

She was wroth because the gods had drowned her people. 
The “offering" was in seven vessels, under which were 
“reed and cedar wood and incense”.* 

The Chinese Nu Kwa* waged war against the giants 
and demons who caused the deluge; she stemmed the 
rising waters by means of charred reeds. Thereafter she 
created dragons and set the world in order. She also 
created jade for the benefit of mankind. In Japan Nu 
Kwa is known as Jokwa. 

The burnt offering on foaming water associated with 
the American ChalchiuhUicue appears to be similar to 
the offering of burnt reeds associated with the Chinese 
Nu Kwa. 

According to Boturini,* Chalchiuhtllcue—“the goddess 

^ fublHf tree bang fufcber on wjler lyntboli^ti nkilL 

ia fti foimi fafrt* * tCiniv p. 1 

* Sre Mjftki n/CiM* cmJ Ciapl=r X, 

^ Quartcil bf ^ VbI. pp* 


of the skirt of precious stones"—was ^‘symbalixed by 
certain reeds that grow in moist places**. She was often 
represented “with large pools at her feet**. The 
“precious stones" included green quarrz, jade or jadeitc^ 
and the stone known, as fnadre de Emersliia^ The city of 
TJaxcalla was often called Chakhuihapatty from a ** beautiful 
fountain of water near it*‘ which appears to have been 
associated with the goddess. Squier in 
refers to an idol of the goddess in her character as the 
“Lady of the Lake*’—the lake being near the village 
of Coatan: 

“Its waier is bad} ic is deep, ind full of caymans. In its. 
middle theft arc two small yards. The Indians regard the lake 
as an oracle of much authority. ... I learned that certain 
negroes and mulattos of an adjacent estate had been there (on the 
islands), and had found a great idol of stone. In the form of a 
wornan, and some objects which had been offered in sacrifice. 
Near by were found some stones called thdkhihitn'*'*^ 

Lucian’s Syrian geddess was connected with a sacred 
lake which was situated to the west of the temple. " In 
the midst of the lake'*, he says, "stands an altar of 
stone. ... It is always decked with ribbons, and spices 
are therein, and many every day swim in the kke with 
crowns on their heads performing their acts of adoration.” 
Sacred fish were reared and kept in this lake. The deity 
was in one of her aspects a “fish goddess”.* Chalchiuht- 
licue was also a “fish goddess”. 

The spinning and weaving implements favoured by 
Chalchiuhtlicueareof special interest. Ncith,tbc Egyptlan- 
Libyan goddess, has a shuttle for one of her symbols. 
Lucian tells of the Syrian goddess who “in one of her 

^ -QutJi'H by Bincfaftp pl* VeL titp lo. 

*Lueiin, Ih 0^* tliPpE^ifi 4^-47 > tTHuLaio*, Tl# Sjfrm hf H. Ar 

wCili Nirtei bjf >CAnliiit, UiuIm, sgtJt FP- U-%^ 



hands holds a sceptre and in the other a dlstafT’,^ He 
calls her Hera, but says she has ‘‘something of the 
attributes of Athene, Aphrodite, Silenc, Rhea, Artemt% 
Nemesis, and the Fates. Gems of great price adorn her, 
some white, some sea-green, others wine-dark, others 
flashing like fire”. Lucian would have been interested 
in the American goddess of water and jewels and curative 
herbs, and he would have connected her with as many 
goddesses as he connected the Syrian Hera, for she was 
similarly a highly complex deity with a long pedigree. 

As the goddess of marriage, Chalchiuhtlicue was adored 
by great ladies who “were accustomed", according to 
Boturini, “to dedicate to her their nuptials”. As has 
been stated, she presided at birth like Artemis, Astartc 
of Phcenicia, and Mylitta, whose name is said to be 
derived from ntu'aUidaiti (“The Giver of Birth" or “The 
Helper of Birth”). Various forms of the birth deity are 
found throughout Asia.* 

As a goddess of young children, Chalchiuhtlicue was 
the deity presiding over baptism. The midwife who 
performed the ceremony appealed to the goddess at 
length, and the following is an extract from the prayer: 

“purge it (the infant) from the fikhines it inherirs from its 
father and its mother, all spot and defilement let the water carry 
away and undo. See good, O our lady, to cleanse and purify its 
heart and life that it may lead a quiet and peaceable life in this 
world; for indeed we leave this creature in ihine hands, who ait 
mother and lady of the gods, and alone worthy of the gift of cleans¬ 
ing that thou hast held from before the banning of the world,” 

During the ceremony the midwife “took water and blew 
her breath upon it,' and gave to taste of it to the babe, 

^ Di i}tM jx. 

* Hfl'edfMtiiJ (4 I DO|« 4IF. 

^ Heft W>C ftfiCtL W[t1i iJbf Wind^anii^HriitEf li Ea lh« ChiiieU doctrirLC* 


and touched the babe with It on the breast and on the 
top of the head". Then she dipped the child in the 

A ceremony of like character was unti' recently per¬ 
formed by mtdwives in the Scottish Highlands. The 
writer was once an eye-witness of It. At the second 
Mexican ceremony of baptism or lustration “the mid¬ 
wife*'* according to Bancroft, “gave the child to taste of 
the water". The Highland midwife dipped her finger in 
the water In which the babe was first washed and touched 
the babe’s lips and forehead. When the Mexican mid¬ 
wife touched the babe’s lips she said, “Take this; by this 
thou hast to live on the earth, to grow and to fiouiish; 
through this we get all things that support existence on 
the earth; receive it". Then she poured water on the 
child's head, saying; 

•^Takc this water of the Lord of the World, which is thy life, 
invigorating, refreshing, washing and cleansing, I pray thai ibis 
cctcsiial water, blue and light blue, may enter into ihy body and 
there live. . . . Into thine hand, O goddes of water, are all 
mankind put, because thou are our mother Chalchtuhtlicue.’'* 

Some writers tell that this baptism was “supplemented by 
passing the child through fire", Bancroft shows, however, 
that this ceremony took place on “the last night of every 
fourth year, before the five unlucky days". It was then 
that parents chose godparents for their children; they 
“passed the children over, or near to, or about the flame 
of a prepared fire". They also bored the children’s 
ears, . , . *‘They clasped the children by the temples 
and lifted them up ‘to make them grow’; wherefore they 
called the feast i%^aUi (growing)."* Reference has already 

^ V4I+ JIJ^ 

^ fljf, iiti, VdI* I Up Ffh J7* wt 1^7* 

* A itmilHT cuilsn obtfmcii \ n ihc Sciittiih Hifblindi, 



been made to this feast, at which, as stated, the children 
were given pulque to drink. 

Fire also played its part in the water-baptism, a “great 
torch of candle wood'* being kept burning. The candle^ 
burning was known in ancient Britain. Women were, 
after birth, “unclean" until they attended church, and 
the Manx term for this church ceremony was hu^ 
ehainley (“candle'burning"). Candles were kept burning 
in the room in which a birth took place, in various 
parts of Britain. A similar custom is known among the 
Albanians and in the Cyclades.* The ancient Greeks had 
“a ritual at which the new-born child was solemnly 
carried round the hearth-fire and named in the presence 
of the kinsmen",* Children were “passed through the 
fire" in Scotland to remove the influence of “evil eye". 
The late Rev, Dr. A. Stewart, Nether Lochaber, has 
described the ceremony. Four women performed it, 
while a fifth, the mother, looked on. An iron hoop 
was used. Round it a rope of straw had been twisted 
and set on fire. The child was passed and re-passed 
eighteen times through the hoop, being eighteen months 
old.* This rite was practised in the south-west Lowlands 
within living memory. Biblical references to the Pagan 
custom of passing children “through the fire" indicate 
how widespread was the custom in ancient times. King 
Manasseh, who worshipped Baal and “made a grove" 
and “worshipped all the host of heaven”, “made his son 
pass through the fire".* The Phoenicians passed their chil¬ 
dren through the fire, and the custom, which was known in 
India, apparently reached America, with much else besides, 

* rrncT* CfF/ain jffurijij riuewj^ p. nott. 

* |[prciciiiE«i3 to E. P. Tjrtor^ Ocfcfd 

* Frvttfdisgi ^ ik* tf if ^epc£eri| Msrch Hi, I 

^ i vcrui j-£. Stt jDlrfFHftcnc IOi 


It may not be possible to trace, step by step, tbe 
migration of a set of complex beliefs from the area of 
origin to outlying parts, but when we find the same 
complexes preserved in far-separated countries which 
were never in touch with one another, and find also 
here and there over the wide intervening area scattered 
traces of their existence at one time or other, only one 
conclusion can be drawn, and that is that the complexes 
were distributed by ancient carriers of culture. The fire 
customs referred to above may be taken as an instance. 
That these could not have been of spontaneous and 
independent origin both in the Old and New Worlds 
is shown clearly by the existence of similar fire-and- 
butterfly beliefs in Mexico and Scotland. The Mexicans 
regarded the butterfly as a form of fire and of the soul,’ 
In Scottish Gaelic one of the names of the butterfly is 
kiifi-JS ("fire of God”) *, another is dealan^di brightness 
of God"\deaian referring to lightning, burning coal, the 
brightness of the starry sky, Sic. Dealan-di was also the 
name of the burning stick taken from a ceremonial fire, 
and twirled round to keep it alight while it was being 
carried to a house with purpose to re-kindlc an extinguished 
fire. The ceremonial fire had been lit by friction. In the 
Mexican Cadt^-BoUgna a butterfly figure, issuing from 
the lower end of a fire drill, symboliacs the fluttering 
flamc.^ **A11 men know that butterflies are the souls of 
the dead” is a significant statement in an Irish folk-story 
related by Lady Wilde.* The butterfly soul issued from 
the mouth of a dead Irishman. In Odior Ranemii is an 
anthropomorphic butterfly from whose great mouth a 
human face issues, showing the teeth, and a skull is 

f Vtiitdxxi 71. It WMM vav pf ihs formt luumed by the icd of £:r>c. 

^jl4ditwt LipHdit'VcL I, p;p. 



attached to the plumage. Greek artists frequently depicted 
the soul as a butterfly, and especially the particular butter¬ 
fly called (**the soul”). From the open mouth of a 
death mask engraved on a tomb in Italy a butterfly issues. 
The Serbians believed that witches had butterfly souls, 
and in Burmah ceremonies were performed to prevent the 
butterfly soul of a baby following that of a dead mother 
to the Otherworld. Among antique Chinese jade objects 
is found the butterfly soul which was associated with the 
Plum Tree of Life.^ The fire vessel was in 

Mexico associated with the south.* Among the Chippeways 
a symbol of the south was the butterfly.® The white 
butterfly was also associated with the Mexican flower and 
love god Xochipilli.* 

At the Mexican baptism ceremony an old woman 
*' performed certain ceremonies with the umbilical cord 
These were of similar character to the umbilical cord 
ceremonies performed generally in the New and Old 

*Eh R- Emsmint Matkff twJ 77l W« R, S. SaltEdm Sekji 

ABiiiflR ppr IJ/ tt p. lio| iatfrul ^ ilr 


* FatkduMf ^ jjo. I T*f Af|fAl p, tSi- 

^ C 4 j£M 155 ^ 

&Urni|t.F».V PEITIES 

Itj iwpjiLcH (hf Obiriii n-tin i Ft (ChithiTTiF? (laJdlrirtiJ 

3 jinij Jp W^mciFV iJ^vicc—{i) Firfl acl^L (l) \a thield ttith cag;l;er's fcKlt 

AitwJQi^y 4, IkiCErrd]r farm of J^ixliEciLUiirjlfi ikt Lovt goddcit^ RuiLcf^]r 
from Amkk BuEEtrflv nr Mnsh froifii C^tx (iMaj^a^L 7^ Buttcrfiir 

fntin of ’QiU'iJtiiicoatV 




^ . 




Goddesses of Love and Food 

Ganitm and Ttw* of Ufe of Old and New World** CcMJiiciicfr—Mexican 
and Chinns FlmdiKi of I he — Maican Love Goddeiw* Canicn and 
Attcndanm^WiavinE^ Godde«»e* of Meiicn^ China* JapaOp dec, — Lovednipir- 
iog KloviCFi—Lnve Goddeu u FirH Women—The Y4ppan Tempwion 
Myih—^Hiodn Myth* of ijmlLar Character—Echira of Hhudu Cofitroveniea 
an A rue rid—American Brahmani—Himliiii Aoccticiim in America—The SEn 
Eater—Conforioo md Abeolutlon—The Grandmoiher Deliy—Matte God 
and Goddtt*—The Snaltc Moihcr—The Pot Myth—Xnlod'ii Eh^ht from 
itodc^—Similar Ja|ianc 9 c Myth—Fim Parent* art Poi-bwn—'McsicHii Xolotl 
and E^piian —Goddesf of the SnaLc Skirt and Snake Moontain. 

The Aztec goddess of love had several names, Including 
Tla9oltcotl, Ixquina, and Thclquauu In Tlascala she 
was known as Xoch[quetzal, and was supposed to dwell 
in the Cdestial region of the ninth heaven. Like Si 
Wang Mu (the Japanese Seiobo), the Goddess of the 
West, ahe had a beautiful garden. In the Chinese garden 
is the Peach Tree of Life and in the American garden the 
Tree of Flowers, XochitlaJpan ("where the flowers 
are‘^*^ Another name for the American garden is 
Tamoanchan, the Paradise of the West. In this garderi 
the goddess of love is associated with Xochipilli, whom 
Seler calls the “god of flowers and food supplies*'. In 
Codfx Borgia (fig. Si) he appears in jaguar form^ embrac¬ 
ing the Tree of the West (the tree form of the godded). 
The West is ^*the home of the maize plant It is also 

^ fn tbe ^Qddctfuit Pint Liiarui ii tkp iLadcn Tm of Life; icO mf 

ff* ^3-^ ft hfji 



the quarter of the hummmg-bird which gives the wcsteni 
tree its name uiiziiziif^iamfl (^‘Humming-bird Tree 

The ChiJiese animal god of the West is the White 
Tiger* The Chinese colour of this quarter and of its 
season, which is autumn, is white. It is of interest there¬ 
fore to find that in Fafiemus the Mexican 

western tree “is painted white with red stripes, and seems 
to bear fruits instead of blossom at the tips of the 
branches*'—a suggestion of the fig tree. In the 
vdry “the tree is given in a white colour”. The 

flower god is also associated with the planet Venus and 
the lower regions/ 

The flower goddess of the West was of unequalled 
beauty. It was told, according to Camargo, that * 

“she dwE^Lb above the nine heavens in a very pleasant and delec¬ 
table place, accompanied and guarded by many people, and waited 
on by other women of the rank of goddesses, where are many 
delights in fountains, brooks, flower gardeias, and wtihoiic her 
wanting for anything, and that where she soiourned she was 
guarded and sheltered from the gazjc of the people, and that in her 
retinue she had a great many dwarfs and hunchbacks, jesters and 
buffoons, who enterrafned her with music and dancing, and whom 
she sent as her confidants and mt^ssengers to the other gods, and 
that their chief occupation was the spinning and weaving of 
sumpeuous, aitistEc fabrics, and that they were painted so beauti¬ 
fully and dcgantly that nothing finer could be found amongst 
mortals. But the place where she dwelt was called Tat^ishuan 
Xcchitl Cftituhnatift^riffniniuhcanj that 

isj the House of the Descent or of Btnh, the place where are the 
flowers, the ninefold enchained, the place of the fresh cool winds- 
And every year she was honoured wiih a great feast, to which 
many people from all parts were gathered in her temple.”* 

In Japan the festival named is connected 

* Sclff, Caiex Ff pp, fo acid 116 * 

* Jp Tlmcimp Tome [, Cfanfu XIIC 

* QiidMd bj SeJer LQ CidtM p. ill. 


with a pair of star deittcs who dwell on opposite sides of 
the Celestial River (the «Milkjr Way”). The goddess^ 
who seems to link with the American love goddess in one 
of her aspects, is the “Weaving Girl" whose star is 
Vega. Her lover, the Herdsman, is associated with the 
star Aquila. The fable, which is of Chinese origin, tells 
that the Weaving Girl ” goddess 

was so constantly kept employed in ranking garments for t!ie 
oiBpring of the Emperor of Heaven—in other words, God—^that 
she had no leisure to attend to the aJoffiment of her person. At 
Last, however^ God, caking coin passion on her loneliness^ gave her 
in marriage to ihc Herdsman who dwelt on the opposite bank 
of the River* Hereupon the woman began to grow remiss in her 
work* God, m his anger, then made her rccross the rivor^ at the 
same time forbidding her husbm:id to vmt her oftener than once 
a y ear/*i 

The festival was celebrated on this day of re-union* 
Susa-no-wo and Amaterdsn (the sun goddess) create chil¬ 
dren, as has been stated, when standing on the opposite 
sides of the Celestial River, Afterwards Susa-no-wo 
breaks through the roof of the hall in Heaven where 
Amatentsu is sitting at work with her Celestial weaving 
maidens^** Is it a mere coinetdence that the American, 
Chinese, and Japnese love goddesses should be spinners 
and weavers? As we have secn^ the Egyptian goddess 
Ncith had a shuttle, and the Syrian goddess a distafT. 

The flowers in the American garden of the West had 
love-in spiring qualities as had the flowers and peaches 
in the Chinese Paradise of the West According to 
Camargo, the individual who touched a flower from the 
garden of the American love goddess became an ardent 
and constant lover* The flowers were evidently Impreg- 

* Chiaiai1»rlun, 

^ a/CkimM MaJ [fidcL 


nated with the attributes of the goddess. As will be 
found In a previous chapter, flowers were forms 
assumed by foam (milk) in Hindu and American Zujii 
myths. Flowers therefore contained “life substance”. 

Scler writes in this connection : 

“The flower was for (he Meaecans an emblem of the beautiful 
and of cnjoymenii Everything that was beautiful and contributed 
to the enjoymeni of life—colour, fragrance, taste, an, and artistic 
sitil], music, and sport, but above all love, and even sexual indul¬ 
gence-all was in the imagination of the Mexicans associated with 
the picture of the Hower,"^ 

The connection between flowers, love, &c., appears, 
however, to have been of more fundamental character 
than Seler supposes. 

Flower garlands are still worn in India and Polynesia. 
In Sanskrit literature flowers fall from hea.ven when the 
gods honour a hero or heroine, approving of him or her. 
Not only the Indian gods, but mortals wore flower gar¬ 
lands and used ointments and scents, but these were of 
symbolic significance just as were the colours. Like the 
colours and scents, flowers revealed the attributes of 
deities. Aphrodite had her flowers. The Chinese and 
Japanese still make symbolic use of flowers at weddings, 
&c. In Ancient Egypt the lotus, a symbol of the mother 
goddess, was in high favour. Its scent was life-inspiring, 

Camargo tells that the American love goddess “ had 
formerly been the spouse of the rain god TIaloc, but that 
Tezcatlipoca had abducted her and brought her to the 
nine heavens, and made her the Goddess of Love She 
was the patroness of courtezans, and her feast was in 
certain communities of somewhat obscene character. 
The Mexicans had a myth which represented the love 

^ yrnd^amu ^ iSfr. 


goddess and the sun god (as a “Lord of the Night") as 
the divine pair of lovers. These appear to have been 
identical with the first human pair—^thc Heavenljf Twins. 
In CfldVx Barhmeus (fig. 19) the goddess and the sun god 
are shown wrapped in a coverlet in quite the fashion 
fiivoured by Maori lovers. The enclosure, however, is 
evidently symbolic of the mother pot and the pulque pot 
from which the twins emerge as the first man and woman. 
It would appear that the pair arc also Identical with “ the 
goddess of the starry robe”, and "the stellar sun god” 
of one of the Mexican hymns, 

** In the concept of this (love) goddess ", SeJer writes, 
"the dominant notion was that of the young goddess, the 
beloved of the Sun God {PUtzittUcutli^i or of the Mai^e 
God {Cinteotl)^ this being doubtless conditioned by the 
Xochitl occurring in her name,” 

The following extract is from a song referring to her: 

Out of the water and mist I come, Xoch^uetza), the 
Goddess of Love. 

Out of the lattd where (the Sun) enters the Jioust^ out 
of TamoancKan. 

Weepeth the pious Piltainiccudi— 

He secketh Xocbiquetzal. 

Dark it is, ah, whither I must go. 

“ She was regarded as the first woman ”, says Seler, who 
adds that she was identified with the consort of Tona- 
catecutli, Lord of Life, God of Procreation, who dwells 
in the uppermost thirteenth hnsaven,* 

That the American Jove goddess did not have origin 
in America Is suggested not only by her close resemblance 
to the Chinese and Japanese goddesses, but also by 
a myth in which she figures prominently In the character 
of a Hindu Apsara (a voluptuous Celestial nymph), 

I Cd^x ppf 13 ] 943^ I Sip 



There are sevei^l legends in the MaAd-iMraf^t of 
ascetics who engage themselves in accumulating religious 
merit and spiritual power by practising austere penances. 
One ascetic, for instance^ **^had set his heart upon the 
destruction of the world That famous rishi Vis- 
wamitra was originally a Kshtatriya (military aristocrat), 
but determined to become a Brahman. “1 see % he said, 
“that asceticism is true strength.'' 

And saying this, the monaxch, abandoning his large domsiins 
and regal splendour sind turning his hack upon all pleasures, set 
his mind on asceticism. And crowned with success in asccticimi 
and filling the three worlds with the heat of his ascetic penances, 
he aiBicted all creacurcs and ftnally became a Brahman. And the 
son of Kushika at Usi drank &tmit wich Indra himself (in the 
heavens).” * 

The gods sometimes found it necessary to mtervene 
and disturb the minds of the brooding ascetics, lest they 
should acquire too great power. They usually sent an 
Apsara to tempt a sage and thus reduce his stock of 
merit. The famous Drona (the “ Pot-bornowed his 
origin to a happening of this character. Sometimes, how¬ 
ever, am ascetic successfully resisted the lures of the 
Celestial nymph. One of these had “Desire and Wrath “ 
so much at his command that they washed his feet.* 

Boturini relates a story of the American love goddess 
and an American ascetic which might have been taken 
from an ancient Hindu religious hook. The name of the 
ascetic is Yippan, Like a pious Hindu who resolves to 
turn his back on the world's pleasures, he leaves his wife 
and relatives, to lead a chaste and religious life as a hermit 
in a desert place, so that he may win the regard of the 
gods. Bancroft's rendering of the narrative proceeds: 

^ trifiilatiiwi, |r+ 

" IkJ. {kof9 trmDiUEjfMV P- pp. jSip jBa* 476^ 500. 


“In that desert was a great stone or rock, called Tehuchuetl, 
dedicated to penitential acts; which roclt Yippan ascended and 
took his abode upon like a western Simeon Siylites, The gpds 
observed all this with attention, but doubtful ol the firmness of 
purpose of the new recluse, they set a spy upon him in the pcr»n 
of an enemy of his, named Ydoil, the word yder/ indeed signifying 
‘enemy’. Yet not even the sharpened eye of hate and envy could 
find any spot in the austere continent life of the anchorite, and 
the many women sent by the gods to tempt him to pleasure were 
repulsed and baffled. In heaven itself the chaste victories of the 
lonely saint were applauded, and it began to be thought that he 
was worthy to be transformed into some higher form of life. 
Then Tlazolteotl (goddess of love)^ feeling herself slighted and 
held for nought, rose up in her evil beauty, wrathful, contemptuous, 
and said: ‘Think not, ye high and immortal gods, that this hero of 
yours has the force to preserve his resolution before me, or that he 
is worrhy of any very sublime transportation; [ descend to earth, 
behold now how strong is the vow of your devotee, how unfeigned 
his continence 1*” 

The goddess left her wonderful flower garden, and that 
day the lean, penaiioe-withcred man on the rock beheld 
the fairest of women- *‘My brother, YAppan”, she said, 
“ I, the goddess Tiazoltcotl, amazed at thy constancy, and 
commiserating thy hardships, come to comfort thee; what 
way shall I take or what path, that 1 may get up to speak 
with thee ?’* 

Yippan was caught in her spell and, descending, 
helped the goddess to climb the rock. She tentpted him 
and he fell. After the goddess left him he was slain by 
YAotl, the enemy, 

“The gods transfermed the dead man into a scorpion, with 
the forearms fixed lifted up as when he deprecated the blow of his 
murderer; and he crawled under the stone upon which he had 
his abode.” 

Yiotl then went In search of Yippan’s wife, who was 


42 + 

named Tlahuitzin. Having found her he led her to the 
place of her husband’s shame and slew her. 

gods transrormed the poor woman into that spittles of 
^orpion called the and she crawled under the stone 

and found her husband. And so it came that the tradition says that 
all reddish-coloured scorpions are descended from Tlahuitzin^ and 
all dusky or ash^oloured scorpions from Yippaii^ while both keep 
hidden under the ston^ and flee the light of shame for their 
disgrace and punbhment. Last of all the wrath of the gods fell 
on Yiotl for his cruelty and presumpnon in exceeding theif 
Comma ods^ he transfonned into a sort of lociist that the 
Mexicans called 

It has been suggested that this story was invented in 
America to account for the habits of the scorpion 
The scorpion was, like the rattlesnake, associated witli 
deities such as the fire god, the god of flowers, and 
Tezcatlipoca, and according to Seler denoted mortification 
and the time of mortification (inldnight). There were 
likewise four scorpions of the four cardinal points*® 

That the myth of Yappan was, however, imported and 
localized by being connected with the scorpion is suggested 
by a close parallel from the Mah 4 ~Mdrafa. The legend is 
related by CaJya to Yudhishthira, the Pandava monarch, 
and begins i 

“ Listen, O king, to me as I relate this ancient stury of the 
events of farmer dfij-s,—how, O descendant of Bhirata, misery 
befell tndni and hjs wife!** 

As Yippan and his wife became scorpions, Indra and his 
wife became insects or grubs. The story proceeds : 

“Once Twashrrt, the lord of creatures and the Foremost of 
celestials, was engaged in practising rigid austcrides* And it is 

^ fi4tuTijni,, pp. 1.Bi ncTQfl ^ jTjA'ii' AiieiTY ^ 

Vot lllp pp. 37a-B<3i^ ^ TidKfdiiBi £, p|4 tgSp 


said that from antipathy to Indra he created a ton having three 
heads. And that being of universal form possessed of great lustre 
hankered after India’s seat. And possessed of ibow three awful 
faces resembling the sun, the moon and the file, he read the Vetias 
with one mouth, drank wine with another, and looked with the 
third as if he would absorb all the cardinal points. 

<*And given to the piactice of austerities, and mild, ^d self- 
controlled, he was intent upon a life of religious practices and 
austerities. And his practice of ausierifics, O subduer of foes, was 
rigid and terrible and of an exceedingly severe ebaracter. And 
beholding the austerities, courage and truthfulness of ibis one 
possessed of immeasurable energy, Indra became aiiKiouSj fearing 
lest that being should take his place- And India reflected,—How 
may he be made to addict himself to sensual enjoyment; how may 
he be made to cease his practice of such rigid austerities? Fw were 
the three-beaded being to wax strong, he would absorb the whole 
universe!—And it was this that Indra pondered in his mind; and, 
O best of Bhirsiia’s race, endued with intelligence, he ordered the 
celestial nymphs^ to tempt thesonofTwashtrl. And he commanded 
them, aying, *Bc quick, and go without delay, and so tempt him 
that the ihree-hcadcd being may plunge himself into sensual etijoy- 
menis to the utmost extent. Furnished with captivating hi|^ 
array yourselves in voluptuous attires, and decking yourselves in 
charming necklaces, do yc display gestures and blandishments of 
love. Endued with loveliness, do yc, good betide ye, tempt him 
and alleviate my dread, 1 feel restless in my heart, O lovely 
damsels. Avert, yc ladies, this awful peril that hangs over me! 

The nymphs promised to allure the ascetic and bring him 
under their control. On reaching Indra's enemy 

“those lovely damsels tempted him with various gestures of love, 
displaying their line figures”. 

The ascetic was able, however, to resist them, as Yappan 
resisted the women who visited him before the goddess 
nf love herself paid him a visit. “Although he looked at 

1 Apifani, 



tKem’', as it is told, “yet he was not influenced by 
desire." The Apsaras returned to liidra and said, 
**0 lord, that unapproachable being is incapable of 
being disturbed by us”. 

The story then proceeds to tcU that Indra slew his 
enemy with his thunderbolt, and prevailed upon a 
carpenter to cut off th^ three heads. Having, however, 
slain a Brahman, he was overpowered by the sin of 
Brahmanicide”, He fled *‘to the confines of the world” 
and hid himself. For a time he lay concealed in water 
as a writhing snake. Then he hid as a small creature 
inside a lotus. His wife set out in search of him, guided 
by the goddess of Divination. Assuming Indra’s form, 
she crept Into the stalk of a white lotus in the middle of 
a beautiful lake on an island : 

“And penetrating into the loius stalk, along with Cachi, she 
saw Indra there who had entered into its fibres. And seeing her 
lord tying there in minute form, Cachi also assumed a minute 
form, as did the goddess of Divination too. And Indra's queen 
began to glorify him by reciting his celebrated deeds of yore,” 

Indra was subsequently purified of his sin and resumed 
his wonted form.^ 

In this story, Indra Is the enemy of the ascetic, and is 
punished for his an of slaying him. Although the holy 
man resists temptation, there arc other Hindu narratives 
of like character in which the Apsartt succeeds as does 
the goddess of love in the American story. One of these 
refers to the ascetic, Bharadwaja, “ceaselessly observing 
the most rigid vows". On a day when he intended to 
celebrate the JgMiAotra sacrifice he was tempted by Gritachi, 
“that Apsara endued with youth and beauty”. She had 
arrived to Interfere with the sacrifice. 

1 Fdrvi cf thr Mdk^hMpjUJ (Riajf't tnintAtion, pp. i S rr if I-}- 


"With an expresston of pride in ber countenance^ mixed with 
a voluptuoys languor of attitude, the damsel rose from the water 
after her ablutions were over. And as she was gwtly treading on 
the bank, her attire was loose and disordered* Seeing her attire 
disordered, the sage was smitten with burning desire*” 

Another MaM-BMrdta story tells of two young men, 
named Sunda and Upasunda, of the Asunt race* They 
became ascetics, and their austerities were very severe, as 
they were intended for “the subjection of the three worlds", 

“The celestials became alarmed^ And the gods began m offer 
numerous obstructions for impeding the pfogr^of their asceticism* 
And the celestials repeatedly tempted the brothers by means of 
every precious possession and the most beautiful girls* ^ 

The brothers resisted the Apsaras and ultin^ately 
became very powerful- In the end the Grandsire 
(Brahma) created with the aid of gems a celestial damsel 
of great beauty, who was “ unrivalled among the women 
of the three worlds"* 

** And because she had been created with portions of every gem 
taken in minute measures, the Grnndsire bestowed upon her the 
name of Tilottama.” 

When the brothers saw her they fell Ifi love. Each 
claimed her for his wife* “And maddentd by the beauty 
of the damsel, they soon forgot their love and affection 
for each other,” They fought and slew each other* 

“The Grsinfkire plcf^ and said lo Tilottama, *0 beauti^ 
fill damsel, thou shalt roam in the region of the AdityaSn And thy 
splendour shall be so great that nabcKly will be able to look at thee 
for any length of time,^”® 

Here we have the love goddess connected with precious 


" jIJi Far-ra of th^ (Roy* iTiDiJalmi^ pp. jf H^lf j;)* 

* ItiJ. pp. * livJ. (Royi tranilitigm pp, 


The Hindu stories of which a selection has been 
given are found in post-Vcdlc literature. After the 
Aryan peoples had settled in India a great deal of culture 
mixing took place. Colonies of seafarers, who searched 
for precious metals and precious stones and pearls, had 
settled in India, and their mythology and religious rites 
were minglcsi with those of the Arj'ans. In the Mahd- 
hMrata there are many stories and long theological 
arguments to justify the elevation of the local deities 
above those imported by the peoples of Aryan speech, 
who came from the Iranian plateau. The story of 
Indra’s sin and transformation is one of the stories in 
question. Even he, the great thiuider god, the Aryan 
Zeus, could not slay a Brahman without paying the 
penalty. The gods of the military aristocrats were 
subdued by the ascetics who performed penances and 
accumulated religious merit. It was possible for these 
ascetics themselves to become gods. 

The searchers for gold and gems, which contained 
** life substance and therefore spiritual power, passed 
beyond India and reached America. They imported, as 
it would appear, into the New World not only their 
own religious ideas connected with gold and gems, but 
also the myths framed in India to justify the elevation of 
the priests above the gods. The story of Ydppan appears 
to be of Indian origin—an echo of the religious struggle 
which took, place on that sub-continent in post-Vedic 
times, when the Aryan gods were represented as being 
afraid of the ascetics who set themselves to accumulate 
religious merit and spiritual power. The story of the 
temptation and fall of Yippan is too like that of the 
temptation and fall of his Indian prototypes to be of 
spontaneous origin in the New World. 

In one of the Hindu versions the enemy of the ascetic 

'f tJ 4 ^ 3 t£.^^ /t xA^*ii.^efi<. j 

/iM.* ^ A^ nu*^'(u ' 

- - • *^ y ^ ^ jf, * 

M fue-r**-’ ^ '^/eitM 

nfJC. itg. 




i>?i--i / j >"i^w 


I'feiC ^rHjiFeii Pjn- 4 ]^iiPtMl ll-Plii M m d^iy |[D4dmi (^<unne^|e'd wilK willli^ fifliticc^ flTim 
Ctulf;^ / Vf rr#«vf ‘^'iilli T^tl «^r llihaiq inric^E'i imt^^rdCUtEdn rccdvt^J ft^m I he Aetrci* tn 

hrr lond ilir c^ttici ?i banner sELtmQuilted bjf I he ^rikcithcr piLt in which poi& i ihc 
ipotlart (ihitii (hfTe iher ^PJjAE Ql Lifelike t\%c Ibb^lnnijn On her bcBil 

]i tile tfnihci!! nf the etitEnn pbnt and the }irwf 1 (rAifAlhiJf^ m lifr-pvini ajrmhel. ^The iJfeU 
tynibnL 11 MB hcf brent and beneiitli it iiTf lunar *).'Fnlin3i, SHp cprrpn ihe haJinrr^ attun'^i 
jnJ *bic3J (rf ■ wuT itellf, having breit midelared *ith the Hqilaih|wafhll.lit ai * 1 ;^! m 
with the ^iJcii CluldiluhtHyite whoie ntwe^ptu^ iKe ^esfi* ” Oqetealiteth * cnnijpcU 
her w'ilh the 4turtxnl bird nnil ti^yiin 


is, as wc have seen, the god Indra. That the Mexican 
Yappan's ‘'enemy” was likewise a god is suggested by 
his name Taotl which was one of the names of Tezeat’ 
lipoca, " the only deity says Bancroft, “ that can be 
^irly compared with the fitful Zeus of Homer—now 
moved with extreme passion, now governed by a noble 
impulse, now iwayed by brutal lust, now drawn on by 
a vein of humour’V Indra was the Hindu Zeus. 

The conclusion drawn from the evidence of the 
yAppan myth that Hindu cultural influence reached 
America is greatly strengthened when wc find Acosta in¬ 
forming us that certain Mexican ascetics, who assisted the 
priests, "dressed In white robes and lived by begging”.^ 
The wandering Brahman and Buddhist pilgrims in India 
similarly be^ed their food. Like the Hindu ascetics, 
those in Mexico "went out into the mountains to sacri¬ 
fice Of do penance”, engaged in hymn-chanting and 
incense burning; while some abstained from meat, tortured 
themselves, smeared their bodies with various substances, 
allowed their hair to grow long and never combed or 
cleansed it; others carried pans of lire on their heads, 
and so on. Torquemada tells of priests who became 
saints by undergoing a four years' penance, thinly clad, 
sleeping on the bare ground, eating little watching 

and praying, and drawing blood from their bodies. 
"Blood drawing was the favourite and most common 
mode of expiating sin and showing devotion” in America 
as in India, while " fating was observed as an atonement 
for sin ^ 

Although the Aztec goddess of love and flowers was 
associated with carnality, she was also as Tlaelquani the 
“sin eater”, or "cater of filthy things ". She pardoned 

^ VoL p. 444. a cjh pp, 

} Aulliaritiu qgatf d by in VeiL l] U PP- 4 Ii 


sins; the penitent confessed to her priests, first taking art 
oath to tell the truth by touching the ground with his 
hand, licking the dust that adhered to it, and throwing 
copal on a fire. After confession the sinner might have 
to pierce his tongue or ears with maguey thorns or under¬ 
go a long and painful fast. The priest gave absolution.^ 
The love goddess was^^ as Tlalli lyoUo, the earth 
goddess^', or **world goddessSeler indines to identify 
her^ too, with the earthquake goddess who was called 
Toci, “our grandmother'’ (as the Indian Brahma was 
“grandsirc"), and Teteo innan, “mother of the gods"— 
the “ All-begetter, mother of gods and men'*, who 
“appears to have had her home amongst the tribes of 
the Atlantic sea-board 

Seler writes as follows regarding this deity: 

" In the songs the goddess is hailed as {&(auk * the 

yellow Bloom', and lE/ur xachitk^ *‘thc white Bloom*, the 
itumcfisHtj ^our Mother^ the goddess of the thigh-ski it-facc-pain ting", 
or as the li ncci ttumffhauf^ * ihou my Grandmother, thou god-^ 
dess of the thigh-skin-face^afnting\ she who dwelleth in the 
Tamoanchan, ^thc House of the DcscenE*, which, perhaps, pro¬ 
perly means ^the House of Birth", the X&chiil i^a^an^ *the place 
where arc the flowers that is, the paradise of food supplies, the 
home of maize, the West, where of her was barn the Maize GtHi 
(Cinteotl), the god Cc aochiti, ^one flower*”* 

The following song or hymn is translated by Seler: 

Our Mother, the goddess Tla-^oltcotl, did arrive* 

The Maize god h born in ihe House of the Descent, m the place 
where are the flowers, ihc god “One Flower**- 
The Maize god Is born m the place of water and of mist where 
the children of men are made, in the Jewell-Michuacan* 

As the earth goddess, this deity was the goddess of 

* SelfT, jrjfc. loo-ioi. VtiiL IJ[, 

pp. jSq jf 1 S*lugLLii ill Bogk VIp OupLci V IL 


dcaih who took the dead to her bosom ”, as Seler puts 
5t.‘ She was also as Cinteotl* the goddess of maiie, 
which she protected and nourished. In this aspect she 
was the "mother”. "The force”, as MtlUer puts it, 
"which sustains life must also have created it. Cinteotl 
was therefore considered as bringing children to light and 
is represented with an infant in her arms. ... Cinteotl 
is the great producer, not of children merely; she is the 
great goddess, the most aJicient goddess.”* Her names 
include Tonacajohua ("she who sustains us") and 
Tainteotl (" the original ^ddess 

Closely connected with Cinteotl was the goddess 
Xiloncn, whose name is derived from xiktl ("young ear 
of maize”). A woman impersonated her at her festival 
and was sacrificed. This victim wore strings of gems 
round her neck and over her breasts, and above these 
a solar symbol of gold. Indicating a connection between 
her and Chalchiuhtlicue. 

Another form of the divine mother was Ciuatcotl 
(" snake woman who was also called Totiantzin (“ our 
mother”). She was a royal lady in rich attire who 
carried a cradle on her shoulders, but in it, instead of 
a child, was a stone knife used for sacrificing human 
victims. She was in one of her aspects a goddess of toil, 
poverty, and adversity. 

The flint knife {tecpatl') was not only connected with 
sacrifice, which was made to prolong the life of the gods, 
but also with birth. Like the ckkauaztH (rattle*stlck) it 
symbolized fecundity. Both were shown between the 
first human pair.* 

' CitdtM PPf TKe were likewiie to the tirecki 

ialk ”, ' Anil ^ ffwl oi [he iiB« fliwe- 

> MuUvrf UtrrfUpmn^ p. 4^1- 

B, pp, Iji 84i ijji il4- 


The goddess Citlalmicue (or Omcciuad), spouse of the 
god Citlallatonac (or Ometeeutl!), dwelt in the thirteenth 
heaven. Before the world was peopled she gave birth to 
a stone knife which her sons threw down to earth. At 
the place where It fell 1600 earth gods came into being.^ 
To these gods she made the request that a bone should 
be brought from Hades. They delegated Xolotl (*' ser¬ 
vant”) to obtain it. He like the Japanese Ohonamochl’ 
who was similarly the "servant” of his numerous brethreiij 
obtained a great bone but had to run away with it at 
high speedj for he was chased by the Lord of Hades as 
was the young Japanese god by Susa-no-wo. 

On his return to ^rth the bone was broken into 
fragments and placed in a pot. The gods who had 
sprung from the flint knife drew blood from their bodies 
and sprinkled it over the bone. On the fourth day after 
this ceremony was performed a boy emerged from the 
pot. More blood was sprinkled and then a girl emeigcd. 
The children were nursed by Xolotl, who fed them on 
the "milk of the maguey", and they became the first man 
and woman from whom the human race Is descended ® 
Xolotl bears some resemblance to the grotesque 
dwarf god Bes of the Ancient Egyptians. Bes had long 
arms, large ears, a big mouth, and crooked legs, and was 
connected with birth, and beloved by children whom he 
amused with his dances. He had an animal form. In 
Mexico the god Xolotl has a dog form and appears to 
have attended on the dead. He was in human form 
misshapen in body and limbs. Like the Ancient Egyptians, 
the Mexican nobles kept dwarfr and hunchbacks to amuse 
them. They were called Mkml, a word derived from 

^ Sm my imder /■dmdmi \n J.adcx. 

* S« my MjiAi a/ CkiKa □□ Jer J Qdu. 

* Esjicrvltt Vat, lilt $K-£oi. 

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I and ^, ihv fndl n-f lovc^ 
-flaU-cttf, ahd fapd, ai|d Xo^biij^urExditf 
ihe oi luviit ^AWett^ aitii 

*^Ar»t d^pklirJ at tjurtraL 

tirifii cTunrhinp ind ihui 

living priiEFn. In i^Fprinfx Jcw^lij 

bitdi| an 4 fcaE^PT* irf^T cbiMt^, 

(^1,, ff’Csm CiJfx jffarjpjZf. arul If fi'am 
CiJfM La^iL) jf TUfCi!ii!t»t!lt at a 
rrvnth^ gr>Jik 4 i, lu^kJinf ^hildp with 
|ri]d U-’1>Hp«d noic ^rnsjnicnt, fillet cl 
entterv lliiea 4 , ip^Fulte in brr hiiTi, and 
rubliN^ paEnlin^ ^bOUt hnt fPVuUth 


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0 ' 



+, XcKbi^geaEal* (he ^ddcM, U Hlnttscf tb3ld+ aiLntnnl witb the fiSlet flnd iVic «glt> 

tWjilicr bcad-dtETii M'hkdk a i^Lar figniltcancc.. On b^t ehtek it a bli^ck rubber eirmiar 
paEH;i4 ^nd ftirm her note ti luipcnJed a lajM^in^ and iteperd plLo-i^ [^Ld} She 

wan blue larmcftli. Her leatp ]i1ce that of Tla^oUeotl (j), ii stepped md ib^t iieliir 
ijnnbo]i (Ca^/rjii jVaf^u]. 

H r 







xilod. Xolotl VOS A god of A ball game. Bcs, the 
grotesque mcrty-making dwarf god of the Egyptians, 
was in the underworld a gigantic deity who “menaced 
the wicked with his knife, t^eatening to tear out their 
hearts *V 

Couatlicue was an earth goddess, a goddess of death 
and a goddess of war. Her name signifies “snake skirt". 
She was connected with the mountain Coatepec (“ moun¬ 
tain of the snake'’) near the city of Tulla. Sahagun 
notes that she was greatly reverenced by the dealers in, 
flowers, and this fact suggests that she may have been 
a form of the love goddess. At an annual festival she 
received offerings of the new flowers of the year. As 
will be shown she was the mother of the great war god 
of Mexico. 

^ WiciSciiuaii, ^ *fcr AKi^t ff, 1 IcFp CsJtx p. J - Ji 


Tlaloc and the Dragon 

Old. New World Xhuodcr Gocti^—-Xbe ‘‘■Fcithercd Serpent 
Wonder Bc3SIk" and Cutinre Mlilng^-^^iifiuro in Europe ^.fid 

Aiiq^Chmese and Indum R^in God*—The tp America—Chlflcsc 

and American Rain God* ot the Eau—TUI ck: m a Niga^Tlaloc on Baric of 
Crocodile — -TlaJpg^* Thunderbolt—India and fhe Marus*—Tlaloc and the 
Haloqnc—Chii: and the Chacar^The CliAOSy Bacab*^ tforUMM^ and Rrahi— 
The Maya Gotl B—Hindu Myth* in A menca— Thunder Dog in India^ 
Chin*, Japan, and Amont^-^^BmldhiU Draj^onf—^Bad and Ono^l Rain fronk 
Tlaloc and Nigas—Dragcmi of Four Tlaloc and the Deer—The 

Old Worid Dccr Cod—^Praycr* and Sacrifice* to Tlaloc—American Fandism. 

The American thunder and rain god was evidently not of 
spontaneous generation. He presents several phases that 
are quite familiar to students of Old World mythologies. 
In the first place he wields an axe or hammer, or throws 
the mythical thunderbolt—“the al!-dreaded thunderstone" 
of Shakespeare—-like Zeus, Thor, Indra, &c,, and in the 
second place he is a dragon-slayer. He Is also a complex 
deity who now figures as a bird which preys on serpents, 
and anon as a bird-serpent or winged dragon—that is, the 
bird and serpent in one, like the Chinese and Japanese 
dragon. Sometimes, too, wc find that the American 
seirpent swallows the god and afterwards disgorges him, as 
happens in the Old World myths. Not Jess striking is 
the fact that Tlaloc, the Mexican thunder and rain god, is, 
like the god Indra and the Chinese azure or green dragon, 
associated with the East. If, one may comment here in 
passing, it is hdd that these complexes are “natural". 


one wonders what some theorists are really prepared to 
regard as “ unnatural 

The idea that thunder is caused by a giant god who 
pounds the sky or the mountains with a hammer or bolt, 
or cleaves them with an axe (the Greek may 

not be a great ciFart of the human imagination, but it is 
something definite and concrete. It docs not follow that 
it was first suggested by an early blacksmith or copper¬ 
smith, or even by a primitive flint chipper. The axe was 
in ancient Egypt a symbol of a deity who had no partic^ar 
connection with thunder, while two arrows and a sliield 
symbolized a goddess. It is possible that the axe, as a 
symbol of divinity, has a long history, and that, simple as 
such a symbol may now seem to be, it really represents a 
group of complex ideas. If, however, it Is assumed that 
the axe is an axe and nothing more, and that the axe- 
wielding god was suggested to different peoples widely 
separated by time and space when they saw axe-wielding 
savages chopping wood or cutting up animals, is it con¬ 
ceivable that the diflTcrent peoples should have *‘quite 
naturally" connected or identified the axe god with a 
bird? Granting, however, that the bird connection was 
suggested because the thunder-cloud might have been 
thought of as a bird, is it probable that widely-separated 
peoples should have unanimously assumed that the 
mythical bird was a destroyer of mythical serpents ? 
Further, can we regard as convincing the theory that 
in the New World, as in the Old, the thunder-bird 
should have been confused with the serpent “as a matter 
of course”, and, in addition, that the “wonder beast" 
should have been given horns, and especially the horns 
of a stag, gazelle, or antelope f The mythical serpent, it 
must be borne in mind, is, in America as in India, a 
water con finer — -a “drought demon", and the bird or the 


axe-wieldJng god, who slays it, does so to release the 
water and bring the season of drought to an end. Is it 
natural that such an idea should have cropped up 
spontaneously In Mexico, China, and India, seeing that 
no bird wages war on serpents in any of these countries, 
and that no serpent really confines water? The rattle¬ 
snake of America, which is the symbol of water, has In its 
natural state no particular connection with water. If, as 
has been assumed, the rattlesnake suggested water**by its 
sinuous movements”, it was not surely confined water, but 
rather flowing water that it suggested. The rattlesnake 
has not, of course, any particular connection with a deer. It 
is difficult to understand, therefore, why widely separated 
peoples should have connected in their religious sym¬ 
bolism the deer and the serpent, or have found it neces- 
sary to give horns to even a mythical water-confining 

The conception of a horned serpent furnished with 
wii^, or plumes, or ornamented with green feathers, 
which withholds or controls the water supply, and has to 
be slain by a bird, or by a big man wielding a thunder- 
axe, IS too complex a one to be dismissed as ”natural”. 
That the “wonder beast” (dragon) should be found in 
America may not be “surprising", seeing that American 
religious symbolism is on the whole of highly complex 
character; but it is, if not surprising, at any rate, from the 
historian's point of view, interesting and suggestive to 
discover that the American complex bears so close a 
resemblance to the Asiatic. The Asiatic "wonder beast”, 
nown as the dragon, was undoubtedly the product of 
culture mixing". That culture mixing had in India not 
Only a religious but a political significance. 

Each part of the anatomy of the symbolic “wonder 
beast has a history In Asia. Is it possible or probable 


that the «wonder beast” of America simply “grew up” 
because, as it chanced, precisely the same historical 
happenings took place there as in Asia, and because 
precisely the same religious rivalries existing there pro¬ 
duced precisely the same results in the social and religious 
life of the people? In these days, when so much more 
is known than was the case a generation ago about the 
mythologies of great culture centres like India and China, 
and much evidence has been accumulated to place beyond 
the shadow of doubt that “culture-drifting” was in 
ancient times a reality, the theory that the same par¬ 
ticular set of complex beliefs had spontaneous origin 
in different parts of the world can no longer be main¬ 

The discoveries in Crete and Spain have demonstrated 
that the impress of ancient Egyptian religious beliefs can 
be detected in more than one European area. India 
has yielded much evidence of culture-drifting from the 
Iranian plateau which had been influenced by Babylonia, 
and of culture-drifting across the Indian Ocean, which 
was crossed and re-crossed by ancient mariners who 
founded colonics and engaged in trade. Even China has 
been shown to have been, before Buddhist missionary 
enterprise became active and widespread, a debtor to 
other civiliiatlons. Its culture-historical development 
did not take place in complete Isolation. Laufer writes 
in this regard: 

“In eppositiDn to the prevalent optnion of the day, it cannot 
be cmphiisi'«d strongly enough on every occasion that Chinese 
civilization, as it appears now, is not a unit and not the estcltisive 
production of the Chinese, hut the final result of the cultural 
efforts of a vast conglomeration of the most varied tribes, an 
amalgamation of ideas accumulated from manifold quarters and 
widely differentiated in space and time. ... No graver error can 


hence be committed than to attribute any culture idea at the 
outset to the Chinese for no other reason than because it appears 
within the precincts of their empire.**^ 

In another work the same distinguished scholar has 
shown, not only by the comparative study of certain 
beliefs and customs but by the evidence of ancient 
Chinese writings, that certain fundamental religious ideas 
_^reached China Irom **Fu-Jin fSyna and Byzantium).* 
De Visser, in his important work I’he T>ra^n in China 
anti Jafiartj has shown that the composite “wonder beast" 
of the Far East owes much to the Indian NSgas* The 
whole subject has been reviewed by Professor Elliot Smith 
in his epoch-making work The Evelt/im sf the Dragon} 
He dissects the “wonder beast", and traces each part to 
its area of origin. Withal, he follows the flight of the 
winged serpent through Asia and across the Pacific to 
America. He finds America ‘‘a rich storehouse of 
historical data and “a museuni of the cultural history 
of the Old World", and writes: 

“The original immigrants into America brought from North- 
Eastern Asia such cultural equipment as had reached the area east 
of the Ycnesci at the time when Europe was in the Neolithic 
phase of culture. Then when ancient mariners began to coast 
along the Eastern Asiatic littoral and make their way to America 
by the Aleutian route there was a further infiltmtion of new itIeaSL 
Hut when more venturesome sailors began to navigate the open 
seas and exploit Polynesia, for centuries there was a more or less 
constant influx of customs and beliefs, which were drawn from 
Egypt and Babylonia, from the Mediterranean and East Africa, 
ftom India and Indonesia, China and Japan, Cambodia and Oceania. 
One and the same fundamental idea, such as the attributes of die 

' A in cti*at Arrime!*^ itnJ Chiciia, U.SJL, iqij, p. jy. 

* r** Dismnmlt A StmAf » Fsittift, ChiogB, 191 c. 

* Uf. M. W, Dc Viwrr, TAf Ongm h CUm W Anutri'daED, 191 j, 

■ LdDdau lAd M^nchciLtr^ 191^ 


serpent as a water god, reached America tn an infinire variety of 
guises, Egj'prian, Bibylonsanj Indian, Indonesian, Chinese, and 
Japanese) and from this amazing jumble of confusion the local 
priesihwid of Central America built op a system of belitfs which 
is distinctively American, though most of die ingredients and 
principles of synthetic composition was borrowed from the 
Old World;** 

Tlaloc and other deities of a like character betray 
their Old World afhnlCicS) now as dragon-slayers and 
anon as feathered serpents with horns and crests. 

The Chinese dmgons sleep sJl winter and awake in 
the spring, when they fight and thunder, and thus cause 
rain to Ml- In the Eastern quarter is the green or 
asture dragon—sometimes it is green and sometimes it 
is bluc^ It is essentially the water controller - The 
opposing deity, the white tiger god of the west, is 
the wind controller/ De Vi&ser writes regarding these 
deities of China: 

^^Thc so-catkd fung^ihui (‘wind and wateris a geomantical 
system, prevalent throiighout China from olden time down to the 
present age. The tiger and the dragon, the gods of wind and 
water, are the keystone of this doctrine^ . * . De Groot has 
given already a fiill accouni of its origin, elements, meaning, and 
influence. *lt is", says he, *a quasi-scientific systerri, supposed to 
teach men where and how to build graves, temples, and dwellings, 
in order that the dead, the gods, and the living, may be located 
therein c^cdusively, or as far as possible, under ilic auspicious 
influences of narure." The dragon plays a most important part 
in this system, being *thc chief ^irit of water and rain\ and at 
the same time reprcsenitng one of the four quarters of heaven 
(i.e. the East, called the A^urc Dragon, and the first of ihe 
seasons, Spring)- '^T/je u/srd Dragan ctmfirhfx the high graundi Im 

^ Tke SiMikihjt of ^ S7, 

^ The Qi44¥ilc«itl, 11 yriai io4 of the wntp ii ikrailirlf oppoitd to TIiIik^ 
Uf nin iod of I he while TcffCitli|Huap « wimJ fod of thr sartiiL, li o|i|kEkcfj to 
HuIUilopodaU^ fef jod of tkt Ktiilit 



gtTTfrai^ and th watir-^streams whkh hav^ thttr {auroj th^Tfin sr 
u/iW thfir way through them' Hence it is that books on Jung^shiti 
commonly commence with a bulky set of dis^itations, comprised 
under the heading Rul/s CoH€/rmng Mr Dragon^ in reality dealing 
with the doctrines about the situation and contours of motmtains 
and hills and the direction of watercourses*” ^ 

We seem still to be in China when we find Seler 
writing of the Mexican Tlaloc and the Tlaxcaltcc goddess 
of rain in C^d^x Faikanus pp, 106 e/ 

^^Thn beautiful cone-shaped mountain rising in the cast of 
their territory, and draped to the summit with vegetation, 
regarded by the TIaxcdtccs as the scat and cmhodimenc of the 
rain JeiEjr, whom tlicy thought of as a female deity and designated 
Matlalcucye, ^thc Lady of the Blue Robe^ Bui for the inhabi¬ 
tants of the Mexican tableland the same part was played by the 
lofty ridges which separaic their domain on the east from ihai of 
the neighbouring Tlaxcaltecs, and above which farther south the 
two gian^ l%ta^ *the White Woman and Psfiocaiip^t/^ 

*the Smoking Mountain rise far into the region of everlasting 
snow^ To this ridge^ over whidi the way led from Trta/M to 
U/xstnimo and Thxcalkn^ was specially appropriate the name of 
Tialoc or T/ii/jfflff.” 

On this upland seat of the god was an idol of white 
lava which laced the cast* Into a vessel on its head 
edible seeds were poured from priestly hands on occasions 
of annual ceremonies^ *^The name Pfly^wA", says 
Selerj which frequently occurs m songs to Tlaloc and 
In the worship of the Mexican rain god, appears to have 
been merely amt/icr nam^ fir ihe same up/and rtgksJ* 

The Indian serpent deities called N5gas, who were 
rain gods, sometimes appeared in human form with 
snakes on their heads or round their necksp “They 

^ De Tjir jDr^jptt hi itmj Pe CrwEi, Tht 

Sjiirm ^CAtrtMgVofim JII, Chi;p,.XJ[| 

I, r, 4, Fi(br^i af the Amrrkia rjin ii Ktftni iira£t»L The dcplH 4 qt-hea 4 c!j 
^ nail the 'WJler^evnhnmf Kfpcnt. &p The ChuTntns of ihe 0<e^rt (iit C^f/r Cpr/rj)« 
On the iLitnmn ef the “churn ii a tcrt^ltc, an^ rmind the “thutn ” k a irultc which ci 
fTJipcil hy deitici. On ihc hack af the lacloiie ii 1 gDd holdirtg another inake. (Sve p. I.} 


arc water spirits’*, writes Kcni,^ “represented as a rule 
in human shapes with a crown of serpents on their 
heads.” Tlaloc was sometimes depicted, as In a stone 
image preserved in the Royal Ethnological Museum, 
Berlin, with 1 face formed by the coils of two snakes, 
and sometimes with snakes forming eyebrows and nose 
and also the mouth from which four long teeth project 
downwards.* In a significant illustration in 
F^hvdry-Mayer 4 Vaticaxus 5 , fig. 309), Tlaloc 

Stands on the back of a crocodile-)ike dragon* in water. 
A streak of wriggling fire issuing from TIaloc’s mouth 
and grasped in his right hand, enters the jaws of the 
reptile. The Indian NSgas and Chinese dragons lived 
in pools and arose to cause thunder and lightning, and 
to assemble clouds and send rain. Oflferings were made 
to Tlaloc not only on the mountains but also in the lake 
at Mexico, in which there is a whirlpool caused by an 
underground outlet. Artificial ponds were consecrated 
to the deity. In Codex Borgia (fig. 14) he is shown 
facing a pool of water in which there is a fish rising 
towards a floating offering of firewood and rubber.* Fish, 
snails, and frogs were connected with Tlaloc. 

In his anthropomorphic form Tlaloc was the wtdder 
of the thunderbolt, and resembled the Hindu Indra, who 
was likewise a god of the East, “The Indra colour", 
s.iys De Visser, “is »//<», dark blue, or rather blue-black, 
the regular epitheton of the rain clouds.*** Tlaloc was 
invariably depicted with a blue ring encircling the whole 
eye, and often with a blue ribbon round the mouth. In 
some of his forms he had a dragon-shaped axe and a 

^ UittKPf in Sondilkitmi ddMt VuiL % p. j lOh 

* •py^ 106 ft Rf. JapiJlM# 

* Th^ Aih {jf drinki EniLk. Hcfc mhbcf u a farm ai milk^ 

* TJv 14 CJijrnn cud p, f l. 




serpentine thunderbolt. In CoJex Borgia and Codex 
Falk anus B appear mteresting forms of Tlaloc in green 
and black. Above or before him is a burning house 
”on which lies a fjaming axe (symbol of lightning and 
beside or below It a stream of water with snails or 
fishes"’p Inside the house in Codex Fatieanxi B is “a 
tailed animal armed with the claws of beasts of prcy"> 
This may refer to some obscure ceremony. Fire was 
used in Buddhist ceremonies to control dragons, Dc 
Visser writes in this connection t 

exorcist of Nagas went wiih hb pitcher fidl of water to 
the pond of such a being and by hb magic formulcE surroundeil 
the Naga with fire- As the water of the pitcher was the only 
refuge the serpent could find^ it changed intq a very small animaj 
and entered the piichcr.*^^ 

The nagas, like the Chinese and Japanese dragons, 
were much afraid of fircp It may be that Tlaloc, as the 
American Indra, takes the place of the exorcist who 
compelled the nSga-dragon to ascend to the sky from 
his pitcher and send rain, or to prevent the nrlga-dragon 
from sending too much rain. &]cr sees in the burning 
house episode a reference to ^^fiery rain^* (rUquiauiil)^ 
Evil or sick nSgas and dragons sent '^calamity rain^^ 

The Hindu Indra was assisted by a group of subsidiary 
beings called the Maruts, who were sons of Rudra. These 
** youths” had chariots drawn by spotted deer, and were 
armed with bows and arrows, spears and axes. They 
were “cloud shakersand were wont to cleave “cloud 
rocks'" so as to drench the earth with quickening showers- 
When following the storm god, Rudra, these assistants 
were called “Rudras”. The “hastening Maruts” accom- 

> C§4f* Bj pi 1 jl. 

^ Tjlr Dr^^m im Ciivi mJ JmpdtE^ p. E]^. 


panied ludra when he came to a place of sacrifice and 
accepted offerings.' 

Tialoc was, in like nianner, assisted by the TIaloque, 
who distributed rain from pltcheta which he smote 
with serpentine rods, or carried symbols of thunder 
and lightning. 

The god Chac of Yucatan, who links with Tialoc and 
tndra, was likewise assisted by subsidiary beings known 
as the Chacs. According to Brinton, “Chacs” signifies 
"the red ones”; the Indian group were the "red Rudras”. 
These assistants of Chac carried axes (thunder axes) like 
the Mexican Tialoc and some, if not all, of the Tlaloque. 
They appear to have been forms of the Bacabs, the gods 
of the four quarters, like the Egyptian Horuses, or "four 
sons of Hnrus”. Ptah, the Egyptian god of Memphis, 
who carried a hammer (a thunder hammer?), had eight 
dwarfish assistants closely resembling the pataikoi^ the 
dwarf gods adored by Pheenician mariners. The Maruts, 
the Rudras, the Tlaloque, the Chacs, and the Bacabs, 
appear to have been all water bringers, as were the 
Horuses and the Ptahs of Egypt. In the Makti-thdraia 
the East is the quarter which regarded as " the fore¬ 
most or first born", and "the source of all the prosperity 
of the gods, for it was there that Cakra (Indra) was first 
anointed as the king of the celestials The four quarters 
were controlled by the king god of the East. This belief 
may be the germ of the conception of the four rain gods 
of the four quarters. There were four Tlalocs and four 
Chacs, as there were four Nigas as well as groups of 
Tlalocs, Chacs, and NSgas, associated with the "first 
born” king god of the East. 

> wJ LfgtwJ, pp. ^ 5 S 1 J77- 

> (KlVi truitlatlHI, ^ llinK 

btimi, ^ jajl- 



As we have seen, the Bacabs* like the Horuscs, 
protect^ the jars containing the internal organs of the 
mummies. The same doctrine, without the practice of 
mu ramification, however, is found in the Jitrtg-shui system 
of China, where the liver and gall are associated with the 
east, the heart and intestines with the south, the lungs 
and small intestines with the west, and the kidney and 
bladder with the north. The Maya, as has been shown, 
connected the Bacab of the south with the belly, the 
“serpent being” organ with the east, the “white being” 
organ with the north, and “disembowelled" with the 
west. In Egypt the order of the internal organs in 
their relation to the cardinal points was altered in the 
course of timed 

These notes are given at this point to indicate the far- 
reaching complexity of the doctrines associated with the 
Americ^ and Old World gods of the East and their 
connections with the other quarters. 

The key to the Chac-Tlaloc problem appears to be 
provided by the god lettered B in the Maya manuscripts. 
Schellhas notes that he is the “most common figure in 
the codices". Those who regard him as being related to 
“Itzamna, the serpent god of the East", and “Chac, the 
rain god of the four quarters and the equivalent of Tlaloc 
of the Mexicans",* arc supported by the comparative 
evidence collected by Professor Elliot Smith,* The god 
B—the “long-nosed” god—has a head which has puzilcd 
many Americanists- Some regard the head as that of a 
tapir. Elliot Smith calls him “the elephant-headed 
rain god". 

In India, as has been shown, Indra’s place was taken 




OiA £e/pii»n^ VcL t, f. 45t, ind Em„, Smith ted othen m 

Htin ind Rtjjii" tftii MtMirtUT ttrimml S*nr{r, 1911, ^p, u 

Spiiulca. Ms}* Art, |i. 6*, I rif E^dam tft)u Dnpa, pp. *^ 


tkf CaJtJr] 

The niJftihcTi rcFtir to l(ic flfili't En wlijrli clic pfctuTri- ilrKribfJ m ih-f t«t 

[ n - -^ 4 ^+ *46?^ 



in Brahm^nic times hy his son, Ganesha, a yoixhg god 
with an elcphant^s head. The j^ounger god was invested 
with the attributes of the elder, Iiidra^ in the Vedic 
hymns, slays Vritra, the ” drought demon —a serpent- 
dragon which confines the waters. When the demon is 
slain the rains are released. The priest then sang i 

I will extol the manly deeds of Indra: 

The first was when the thunder stone fic Wielded 
And smote the dragon ^ he released the waters. 

He oped the channels of the breasted mountains.^ 

In the Codex Ct^rfei the Americaji elephant-headed 
god, who IS decorated with the characteristic Cambodian 
ear ornament, is shown with a thunderbolt In each hand 
standing beside a bearded rattlesnake, whose body forms 
an enclosure full of water. Another picture in C&dex 
Troaxo shows the serpent-dragon after the enclosure 
formed by its body has been opened. On its head 
stands the elephant-headed god, Chat, pouring the rain 
from a jar, while a goddess, similarly employed, stands 
on the tail. 

Elliot Smith draws attention to page 3^ of the Dresden 
Codtx of the Maya, in which the complex rain god and 
dragon myth appears to be represented in several of its 
phases. There are nine pictures in alL One depicts the 
American black vulture attacking a living snake with pws 
a-gape and the body curved to form two enclosures. 
Here the vulture acts the part of the African secretary- 
bird, and also that of the mythical garuda bird of India 
which wages constant war on the n 3 gas (snakes). A 
second picture shows the elephant^headed, or " long- 
nosedgod in human form carrying a lightning torch, 
while, In a third, he carries the ^*thunder axe'\ The 

^ it iitiidiF tmi Ltj^^ pp, 6-7, 


god^ in a fourth picture, stands on water, looking upward 
towards a rain cloud, and, in a fifth, he is crouched inside 
his house cither resting or accumulating spiritual strength 
in contemplation. A sixth picture shows him coming 
from the cast in a boat with a goddess, in ccrcmonlid 
pose, seated in front of him. This may be the same 
goddess who, in the seventh picture, sits in the rain with 
her hair in the form of a long-necked bird (a heron) 
which grasps a fish in its beak. The thunder god is, in 
the eighth picture, a dog descending from the sky hearing 
firebrands. In the ninth picture the god is combined 
with the serpent as a long-nosed human-headed serpent 
which gives forth rain, the enclosures formed by the 
curving body having been opened. 

Now, the dog was in India associated with Indra. 
In times of drought the hill tribes still torture dogs so 
that the “big dog” may hear and thunder and thus send 
rain. The Chinese celestial dog” is similarly a thunder 
and lightning deity, and there are many references to it in 
the Chinese books, including the following; 

“When dark clouds covered the sty everywhere at night, a 
noise of thunder was heard in the north. . . , This was what 
people call a descent of the celestial dog, , . 

“It has a shape of a large moving star, and produces a nDise. 
When it descends and reaches the earth it resembles a dog. 
Whatever it falls upon becomes a Haming fire; it looks like a 
fiery light, like flarnes flaming up to heaven. . . 

“Thunder resounded in the north-west in a cloudless sky, and 
this was called a descent of the celestial dog. ...” 

celestial dogs live on the top of high mountains. . . . 
Their colour resembles that of the wan-i (crocodile dragon).” 

The dogs are mentioned “as a kind of badgers living 
in the mountains, or as birds or plants (the man¬ 

drake), or dragons , In Japan the celestial dog became 



confused wth the long-nosed Tctigu, and both were 
identified with the India Garuda and with Ganesha.' 

It is apparent from the evidence of the Dresdtn Ctidex 
that the thunder dog was added with the elephant-headed 
god of India to the American “mythological museum”. 
Indeed, in the Maya codices, the dog “is”, as 

Brinton notes, “most conspicuous”. It is associated 
with the sign for night, with the god of death, and 
with storm and lightning. Brinton writes: 

“ Dr, Schclihas and Dr, S«icr regard him (the dog) as a symbol 
of lightning. But I am persuaded that, while not disconnected 
with this, the dog represents primarily some star or constcibcion. 
At limes he is dotted with spots to represent stars. . . . His 
body is often in human form, carrying a torch in each hand 
[Dmiien CaZ/jt, p. 39). ... In Ctd. Dret.y p. 40, he falls from 
ihe sky. . , . He pbp on the medicine drum {Csd, p. aoj, 
and is associated with the rains.” ^ 

The resemblance to the Chinese celestial dog is un¬ 
doubtedly very dose. 

The human-headed or elephant-headed snake is 
another form of the feathered serpent”—^ combination 
of the thunder bird (Garuda) or thunder god (with long 
nose or elephant’s trunk) with the nSga. This union 
took place in India, The northern Buddhists “declared 
both the Nllgas and Garudas, mighty figures of the Hindu 
world of gods artd demons, to be the obedient servants of 
Buddhas. ... In the same way northern Buddhism 
adopted the gods of the countries where it introduced 
itself and made them protectors of its doctrine instead 
of Its antagonists."* In China the combined thunder god 
and water god is represented by the winged dragon, as 

* D'fi Viiurf cm “The Tcaffl" ^ tht Asiam ^ VoL 

X^tXVI.^ Tart Ilk *5 ^ fp+ 71—71, 

^ Dc VIjMiF.^ Tkt Drd^n im CAflU *nJ p* 


it Is in America by the feathered snake and the elephant- 
headed snake. In India the elephant was a as 

has been already shown. 

“Every possible phase of the early history of the 
di^oii story and all the ingredients which in the Old 
World went to the making of it, has/’ comments Elliot 
Smith, “been preserved in American pictures and legends 
in a bewildering variety of forms and with an amazing 
luxuriance of complicated symbolisnt and picturest^ue 
variety, ^ The rain god is sometimes the dragon-slayer, 
sometimes the dragon in his ‘‘vehicle”, like the maJ^ara 
of the Indian god Vishnu, and sometimes the god and 
the dragon arc one. Among the Maya the elephant 
and shark were forms of the makara^ or sea-dragon, as 
in China and Polynesia.^ 

As the controller of the cardinal points, the Maya 
Chac and the Mexican Tlaloc have, as has been indicated, 
four forms. In Egypt the four Horuses who supported 
the sky at the four quarters wxre sometimes represented 
by their symbols. TIalocs axe plays a similar part in 
America, Selcr refers to a symbolic axe with “sharp 
edge upwards and above it the sun, from which a stream 
of blood flows down and along the haft of the axe, and 
bears in the middle a reeking human heart pierced by a 
dart. The axe with its upturned cutting side recalls”, he 
adds, “the Mixtcc saga of the copper axe on the mountain 
of Apoala^ on whose edge the sky rests 

Tlaloc supports not only the four quarters, hut figures 
m the fifth quarter, which is the centre “from above 
downwards**.’ There -verc also four Tlaloc “rooms** in 
the middle of a large court m which stood four vessels of 

■ TAr Erjtlttmi if tU U/ipi, jiy. gy-IB. 

' /iAC, pp. igi^ < pp, 

* CiJti yxikiiOM S, p, ij. 



“The first water is very gvxid^ and from it comes the rain 

whcii the maize-^nrs and the field-fruits [hrive^ and when the 

rain comes at the rigkt time. The second water fs bad when 

It rains, and with the rain on the maize-ears grow cobwebs 

(fungus iSimui) and they become black. The third water k when 

it rains and the maize-ears Freeze. The fourtEi when it rains and 

the maize-ears put out im grains and wither up. The descriptioii 

of the various kinds of water corres[>onds ... to the four quarters 

of the heavens, cast, west, north, south.^’ 


The NSgos of the Buddhists [ikewise sent good and 
bad rain. 

“Whenever men obey the law, and cherbh their parents and 
support aisd feed the Shamans, then the good NSga-rajas are able to 
acquire increased power, so that they can cause a sn^L fertilizing 
rain to fall, by which tlie five sorts of grain are perfected in colour, 
scent, and taste^ , , ^ If, on the contrary, men arc disobedient to 
the law * . * then the power of the wicked dragon increases, and 
just the opposite efiects Ibllow- every calamity happens to tJie 
fruits of the earth and to the Jives of mcn."^ ^ 

Nagas injuring crops arc referred to in various texts,* 
The good rains cause all plants and trees to shoot up 
and grow”* It is of interest to note in this connection 
that good rain “does not come forth frorn his (the Nlga's) 
body but from his heart 

The Mexican four dragons of the cardinal points arc 
in Codex (Cedex Futkanks fi, fig. 550) shown 

in their rooms, which *ire so arranged as to form a 
swashtika symbol which revolves, each ^*room’^ being 
connected with a season-controlling cardinal point. 

In Mexico, as in China, Japn, and India, the dragons 
were adjusted to reflect locat phenomena, and were 
connected with local fauna and flora. The American 
turkey appears to have taken the place of the Indian 

I r 4 f iv ciu w ^ ■ jitj., jt 14. 



peacock as a rain bird, and sj'mbolizcd “jewel water” 
(good rain and life blood). It is of special importance, 
however, to find that the deer remained associated with 
the rain-giver in America. Tlaloc Is depicted in hinmn 
form with a deer in front of him. There was also a deer 
god of the east and a deer god of the north. The eastern 
deer was white and the northern one brown. According 
to Seler the brown deer of the north signified drought— 
the north being in Mexico, as in China, the quarter of 
drought. He thinks that the white deer, which Is dead, 
was connected with the foam on white incense vessels, 
and denoted the fire of the incense which means “plenty 
of food supplies”, and indicates the east as “a region of 
fertility and increase”.^ The dragons, however, were 
sometimes depicted with the horns of dccr. This trait 
is a feature of the dragon on the rocks at Piasa, Illinois. 
Brintoii refers to the “fabulous horned snake”, which was 
a famous “war physic” and gave protection.* Similar 
beliefs regarding dragon’s horns obtained in China. 

It would appear that the arbitrary connection lietween 
the water snake and the antelope, gazelle, and deer first 
took place in Southern Babylonia. Ea, originally a river 
god, was connected with the snake and afterwards with 
the antelope, gazelle, and s^g. As has been shown, the 
Maruts of India had deer-drawn chariots. In China the 
dragon had deer’s horns and was sometimes called *‘the 
celestial stag”,* 

As is shown in a-Tlaloc prayer, given by Sahagun, 
the god was addressed as “giver and lord of verdure and 
coolness * who controlled **the gods of water, thy subjects”. 
The prayer continues; 

‘ Cjrffi rtlitmi B, Pfi. 101-3. * Th Mi/ii if lb Wiw $f'itU, pp. ijti Mf. 

* D* Gfooi, J. it Mottan, bj Elliot SmiUl in TV if 

lb Dttpt, 



**It is woeful, O our Lord, to see all the face of the earth dijj 
so ihat it canoo[ produce the herbs nor the tree^ nor anything to 
sustain us,—the earth chat used to be as a father and motl^cr to us, 
giving us miik and all nourishment, herbs and fruit thac therein 
grew. Now is all dry, all lost; it is evident that the Tlaloc gods 
have carried all away with dicm, and hid in their retreat, which is 
their lerrescriaJ paradise. . . , Give succour, O Lord^ to our lord, 
the god of the earth, at least with one shower of watery for when 
he has water he creates and sustains us»'* ^ 

Tlaloc is called “ Lord of green things and gums, of 
herbs odorous and virtuousIn Pyramid Text No* 
699 Osiris is “ Lord of green fields He was idend- 
fied with the waters, the soil, and vegetations^ 

According to Camargo, Tlaloc was greatly feared, 
“Whoever dared to blaspheme against him was supposed 
to die suddenly or to be stricken of thunder; the thunder- 
bolt, instrument of his vengeance, flashed from the sky 
even at the moment it was clearest".^ The Homeric 
Zeus and the Hindu Lndra smote their enemies in like 

Dogs and human beings were sacrificed to the god, 
their hearts being torn out and burned, while incense was 
made to darken the faces of idols. 

Children were sacrificed to Tlaloc, some being 
butchered and others drowned in the lake of Mexico, 
Those drowned were called EpcoaiL If the children 
wept, it was taken as a sign that rain would fiilL 

A similar diabolical custom obtained in Ireland, where 
children were sacrificed to Crom Cruach so that the 
people might be assured of supplies of " milk and corn 
The children offered to Tlaloc and to ChalchiuhtHcue 
were “bedecked with precious stones and rich feathers 
Their blood was “jewel water” and was supposed, like 

■ Vlf VffL HT, pf»> 335 rf 

* ktiigton mJ TAckgAtim Aiukmf fp* la, iji * p- J 



that of other victiins* to revive the god and assist him to 
provide life-giving moisture. 

Jadeite images of TJaloc were greatly favoured. At 
one of the god's festivals the priests and people entered 
a lake and swallowed live water-snakes ajid frogs. 
Chalchiuhtlicue was sometimes depicted as a frog, and 
jadeite fre^ were favoured amulets. 

The thunder deities of the various American peoples 
were all rain-bringers and associated with the bird and 
serpent. Sometimes the dragons assumed human shape. 
Bancrofts refers to a Honduras myth which tells of a 
beautiful white woman called Comlzahual (“flying tigress”), 
a reputed sorceress. She introduced civilization and gave 
birth to three sons who ruled her kingdom. When her 
time came she asked to be carried to the highest part of the 
palace^ “whence she suddenly disappeared amid thunder 
and lightning”. This is a typical Chinese or J.ipanese 
dragon story of which versions are given by De Visser.* 

' A famous statue of Tlaloc, preserved in the National 
Museum, Mexico, shows him as a human-shaped god in 
semi-recumbent attitude, as if he had been awakened and 
was about to rise. He giasps a water pot, and a little ser¬ 
pent lies beside him. Apparently he is here a sii£a in human 
form who stores and controls the supply of life-giving water. 

Like Indra, Tlaloc had his own particular paradise. 
It was called Tlalocan, and was the source of rivers that 
nourished the earth. Eternal summer prevailed, and all 
the crops and fruits were in as great abundance as in the 
paradise of the Egyptian Osiris. Tlalocan was specially 
reserved for “those who had been killed by lightning, the 
drowned, those suffering from itch, gou^ tumours, dropsy, 
leprosy, and other incurable diseases. Children also, at 
least those who were sacrifleed to the Tklocs, played 

1 TAm Ftiijk VcL ill, p. 4S|. * Tlu DfafiM CJk^ 0i4 


about in its^ gardens, and once a year they descended 
among the living in an invisible form to join in their 
festivals/' ^ This paradise %vas, of course, situated in 
the £a$t> The interpreter of Codex Fadcaxtis, dealing 
with Chalmecat'matl (** children's paradise *’), says: “ This 
was the place ... to which the souls of children who 
died before the use of reason went. They feigned the 
existence of a tree from which milk distilled where all 
children who died at such an age were tarried. They 
also thought that the children have to return from thence 
to re-pcople the world after the third destruction which 
they suppose it has to undergo, for they believe that the 
world has been twice destroyed. ,. . Chkftiualquumtl sig¬ 
nifies the tree of milk which nourishes children who die 
before attaining the use of reason/'* 

Clavigero describes a second paradise called House 
of the Sun", resembling the solar-cult's paradise in Egypt, 
ic was reserved for soldiers who died in battle or in 
captivity, and for women who died on child-bed. Every 
day, at the first appearance of the sun’s rays, they hailed 
his birth with rejoicings and with dancing and the music 
of instruments and voices. . . . These spirits, after four 
years of glorious life, went to animate clouds, and birds 
of beautiful feathers and of sweet song, but were always 
at liberty to rise again to heaven, or to descend upon the 
earth to warble and suck honey-flowers," Honey and 
rain (from clouds) were thus the elixirs for the souls. 
Rain was produced by shedding human blood. 

A third paradise allotted for souls was Mictland, a 
place of utter darkness like the Babylonian Underworld, 
This paradise was in the North. 

1 Tkw VoL III, 

^ Kija^b4fprii|;h,. Ashi^wfiEi ^ Vol. Vt (tbe tLf 

df ihe MriLCzatl Ilf ikc t^AtiiAnmE uf, PLltC V;. D. .¥7 7^ 


White Missionaries and White Gods 

Spajiiardf u “White Gailand mu Ancient PiTOphrcy— 
S|Aniih King u mj Mmr, Gsid, and Dn^n^A 

PcKcdoving ^.nd Ploy* Cd|^ Quecxaiccad om * Mkiiianary—Evpahign of 
Mioinn^ i^uctzMEetjatl a BuddhA-^rigiji of CjueExalcdAii—The 

Toitca-4^uccrAEci»tl mm Ssar God pf the Eait-^Ai God ef ihc 
Wind God^Af Cftaior—A m FcMtliered-cerpciiit Dngan—Lc}fcndi of Se»- 
faftrt leMChin^ America—VotMo* Cod and Miadonaf^—The CajMcan Mli- 
iionary™The :Sa]»tec Misuonary—Gucumatz, Kbiukan, and ItzainxiM— 
Snath Americuv Cult one Heroa and Godj—White Strangen ami Buddhlit 

When Cortez, the Spanish conqueror of Mexico, was 
advancing with his small but comparativciy powerful 
army from Vera Cruz towards the capital of the Aztecs, 
Montezuma and his subjects were greatly perturbed, 
because it seemed to them that an ancient prophecy was 
about to be fuHillcd, and that the downfall of the Aztec 
Empire was at hand. To them the Spaniards were 
“white god^", or at any rate “white men from the East", 
and it was remembered that their hero god or culture 
god, Quetzalcoatl, who had lived for a time among men, 
had departed eastward and set out to sea from Vera 
Cruz. When taking leave of his disciples, Quetzalcoatl 
told them “that there should surely come to them in 
after dmes, by way of the sea where the sun rises, certain 
white men with white beards, like him, and that these 
would be his brothers and would rule that land ”, The 
Mexicans arc said to have long looked forward to the 
arrival of these strangers. 


Montezuma consulted the priestlf astrologlsts when 
word was brought to him of the landing of Cortez. 
From them he received little comfort. Certain extra¬ 
ordinary happenings and signs had for some time engaged 
their attention. In nine years before Cortez set 

out as captain-general of the expedition, the lake of 
Tezeuoo had overflowed its banks and devastated part of 
Mexico city. A mysterious fire broke out in the chief 
temple in the following year. Then no fewer than three 
comets appeared in the sky; and, shortly before the 
Spaniards landed, a strange pyramid of light appeared in 
the eastern sky which ** seemed thickly powdered with 
stars —a phenomenon probably caused by the eruption 
of a volcano. At the same time stories were circulated 
regarding voices and wailings that filled the air, foretelling 
approaching calamities. Some even told and believed 
that Montezuma’s sister had, four days after her burial, 
risen from her grave to warn the monarch that his empire 
was soon to be plunged in ruin. It is not surprising 
therefore to read that Montezuma and his councillors 
should have been greatly agitated when the Spaniards 
made their appearance, some of them mounted on horses, 
which seemed to be dragon gods, and equipped with 
weapons that flashed like lightning and roared like 

The Aztec monarch, being a fatalist, remained in 
a vacillating state of mind until the Spaniards had arrived 
in his capitd. At first he endeavoured to persuade them 
to leave the coast by sending them presents of gold and 
gems, including the great gold and silver wheels referred 
to in my first chapter. He made a show of resistance 
which was speedily overcome. 

The Spaniards had been opposed by the Tlascallans, 
who were heavily defeated after being terrified by the 


artillery bombardment. Then the TIascallans made peace 
with the invaders and became their allies. Montezuma 
had the direct road to his capital blocked, but the obstacles 
were removed by Cortez, who was afterwards allowed to 
pursue his march ftcc from molestation and enter the 
capital. The Spaniards seemed indeed to be “ the men 
of destiny whose coming had been foretold by Quetzal- 
coatl. It was useless, Montezuma thought, to attempt to 
resist them. 

When Cortez was received in audience by Monte¬ 
zuma that monarch confessed that his ancestors were not 
the original owners of Mexico.' 

“ They hnd occupied it but a few ages, and had been Led there 
by a great being, who, after giving them laws and ruling over the 
nation Ibr a tiine, had withdrawn to the regions where the sun 
rises. He had declared, on his departure, that he, or his descen¬ 
dants, would again visit them and resume his Empire. The 
wonderful deeds of the Spaniards, their Lair ccunplexions, and the 
quarter whence they came, all showed they were his descendants. 
If Montezuma had resisted their visit to his capita], it was Irecause 
he had heard such accounts of their crueltie^that they sent their 
lightning to consume his people;, or crushed them to pieces under 
the feet of the ferocious animals on which they rode. He was 
convinced that these were idle talcs; that the Spaniards were itind 
and generous in their nature; they were mortals, of a different 
race, indeed, ftout the Aztecs, wiser and more valiant—and for this 
he honoured them.” 

Tears streamed ftxjm the monarch's eyes as he spoke. 

” It is true , he said, “ I have a great empire inherited 
rom my ancestors^ lands, and gold, and silver. But your 
sovereign beyond the waters is, I know, the rightful lord 
^ ^ name.”* To Montezuma the King 

of Spain was the living represetitaiive of Quetzalcoatl. 

1 ^* '*’'* BDt wuh lit Aittn Id be blimnl far hirm; dnteUeil OurtulcDitL 

PrtMoti, Jtnitry tf lit Miwitt, Book III, Chifltr tX 


I, Quctialtniil ri?pfn<dTihngE Xi|»€; TdithCt ffdm pyramid it Ui^ijuin^, nifjr Trrc^thih, 
3, {Jisr-t^dEi^fut] fir»ii^a!j|jti|t Chittci^^ Bitiikhbr inufur, <JiiftHk<[ull IlitifdiBi ilicir li|iire 
in Trwnidfm Mai-cum, Firii. 4^ Quriralcpsl;] ipJiJnjr fnfink iainF m lb A 

<!l||tacfFFlHk of jiU [hr imu^i h ihr hmaStrd rsT-piitli ti-luLcIt ha^e i Idlar 

Xdi. a 3 .z\ii 4 hate snakrt iho t/iiji afiJ ^itjr-^liih. «ktapeiJ~ hfeaiit dritafncnti. 

On bttiK ok' No. a la iht llic[^d-»ll£iL" lymbok caESed In Jai^an the “ ima|;A-lainia "b 


Now QuetKtlcoatl, the “great being” referred to by 
MontCiuma, comes before us for consideration in three 
aspects: (i) as a man, {2) as a culture god, and (3) as 
a dragon g^ of complex character. It would seem that 
he represents an intruding people who contributed to the 
culture complexes of pre-Columbian America, and not 
only the artisans and priests of that people, but also the 
god or gods they had imported from their area of origin. 
Before the intruders reached Mexico, their beliefs were of 
highly complex character. Their King-priests, who were 
called Quctzalcoatls, that is “feathered serpents” or “bird 
scrjients”, were, like the Emperors of China, also “Sons 
of Heaven ”—that is human forms of the winged dragon 
god of their religion. An outstanding difference betW'cen 
the Quetzalcoad cult and the other cults of the pre- 
Columbian Americans was that it was opposed to war and 
human sacrifice. According to the A 7 .tec legends. Quet¬ 
zal coat! vras ultimately expelled from the Mexican plateau, 
but, before leaving, foretold, as has been indicated, that 
either he or his descendants would return again. 

The human Quetzalcoad, Torquemad.t tells, tvas said 
to have been a tall, large-bodied white man, broad-browed, 
great-eyed, with long black hair and heavy beard. Some 
say that his face was red, and that he wore a long white 
robe or a black robe, adorned with crosses. He was reputed 
to have introduced the calendar, and to have taught the 
people agriculture, the art of government, stone-cutting, 
engraving, the craft of setting of precious stones, and the 
silversmith's craft, &c. He himself lived a chaste ]ife,Avas 
given to the practice of penance, and to drawing blood 
from his cars and from beneath his tongue, bcciusc of the 
sinful things he had heard and uttered. He abstained 
from intoxicating drinks, and was a celibate. Mild and 
gentle, he bated war and violence, and, instead of offering 
(»«♦> ta 



up in sacrifice animals or human beings, he gave to the 
gods offerings of bread, roses and other flowers, and 
perfumes, and incense. He taught virtue and established 
good laws that promoted trade and peace. 

At Tulk, where Quetzalcoatl reigned as a priest-king, 
maize was grown and fruit trees cultivated in great 
abundance. Cotton was produced in various colours, 
In the woods were many birds of rich plumage that 
sang sweetly. *‘This Quetzalcoatl had all the riches of 
the world, of gold and silver, of green stones called 
chalchiuiies {chakhiuitls\ and of ocher precious things, and 
a great .abundance of cocoa-nut trees of divers colours,”^ 
He reigned for twenty years. When, in the end, he was 
compelled to retire eastward by his enemies, he threw 
precious stones at a tree which was remembered and 
reverenced as “the tree of the old man”. When he 
came to a mountain near the city of Tlalnepantla, two 
leagues from Mexico city, he sat down on a stone and 
wept. He left the mark of his hand on the stone, 
and the place was called Temacpalco, which means “in 
the palm of the hand”. At another place “he set up 
and balanced a great stone, so that one could move it 
with one’s little finger, yet a multitude could not displace 
It”. According to one account, he set to sea in a raft of 
snakes—which may refer to a “dragon ship” or “serpent 
ship”, as ships were called by such far-separated seafarers 
as those of China and Norway, Another account, given 
by Mendieta, states that Quetzalcoatl died on reaching 
the seashore and that his disciples burned his body, thus 
inaugurating the custom of cremation. The heart of 
Quetzalcoatl was supposed to have ascended from the 
pyre to become the morning star. That was why the 
Mexicans called him “Lord of Dawn”, 

^ TJt§ VwU Uiy P- 34J* 


It majr be that the Quctzalcoad cult was of Buddhist 
origin. An interesting representation of him, preserved 
in the Ethnographical Department of the TrocadAro 
Museum, Paris, reveals him, indeed, as a Buddha sitting 
with legs crossed in quite the Hindu fashion, with down¬ 
cast eyes, tranquil face, and arms hanging limp, as if 
engaged in meditation. Pious Brahmans can still be seen 
in this pose on the banks of the Ganges, meditating on 
the supreme soul, Brahma, oblivious to all that is happen¬ 
ing about them. 

Although some Americanists dismiss as **absurd" the 
view that there are traces of Buddhist influence in the 
Quetaalcoatl cult and legends, the evidence of this 
little art relic cannot be ignored, especially as another 
Quetzalcoatl image hears a remarkable resemblance to 
Chinese Buddhist art in clay images, and has the 
♦'magataira." symbol (the '* si iced-shell" symbol of the 
Americanists) on the breast cloth. In China the white 
“magatama” was a symbol of Tang and the black 
“ magatama ” of Itn. 

There are various Mocican legends as to the origin 
of QuetzalcoatL One is that he had a virgin mother; 
another makes him the son of Izucmixcoatl, the Meidcan 
patriarch, by his second wife Chimamatl; another makes 
him a CuJhuacan prince who preached a new religion, 
proscribing warfare and human sacrifices and encouraging 
penance. One of the interpreters of the codices states 
that he was created by Tonacatecotle (god of heaven), 
who was also called Cltinatonali, ‘*not by connection with 
woman, but by his breath alone. . . .” “Cltinatonali 
sent his son into the world to reform it." Quetzalcoatl 
was usually associated with the pre-Aztec cult or people 
called Toltec. The Toltecs were supposed to have come 
from Hue-huc-tlapallan (“Old Red Land") in the north 


and to have settled at TuJla, where Qucualcoatl is said 
to have reigned as priest-king. 

At the time of the Spanish conquest TlapalLm was 
supposed to be some area in the direction of Honduras^ 
in the Maya country. There was also a TlapalLan-conco 
(“Little Tlapallan"), which was founded by Toltecs from 
“Old Tlapallan”, It tnay be that in the Quetaalcoad 
myth wc have embedded legends regarding a god who 
came from the east and returned to the east in the Old 
Tlapallan mythology, and that it did not necessarily have 
its origin in America, although it was ultimately located 
there and induenced by traditions of American race- 

When the Pandava brothers in the MaM-hhAmta set 
out to walk to paradise, they Hrst go eastward until they 
reach the mythical “Red Sea”; then they turn south¬ 
ward, and from the south they go by way of the west 
to the northern paradise. The “Old Tlapallan” of the 
north may have simply been a mythical place like the 
Aztlan, the homeland of the Aztecs, 

According to one of the expulsion myths already 
referred to, Quctzalcoatl became a god after he wis 
cremated. He was supposed to have been invisible for 
four days, and to have dwelt in the underworld for eight 
days, before he appeared as the morning star. 

The Spanish monks believed that Qiietzalcoatl was 
no other than St. Thomas, who had crossed the Atlantic 
to preach Christianity, This theory explained, to the 
satisfaction of many at the time, why the cross (originally 
the symbol of the four quarters) was closely associated 
with Quctzalcoatl. 

As a god Quetzalcoad was of complex character. 
He was, in the first place, connected with both the east 
and the west, a fact which su^ests that the ancient 


coittrovcray regarding the importance of these cardinal 
points had been introduced into America by the Quetzal- 
coatl cult. In China there was a western paradise, in 
which grew the Peach Tree of Life, and the eastern 
paradise of the Isles of the Blest; in India, as far back 
as Vedic times, the cult of the west was represented by 
Varuna and that of the east by indra. The Buddhists 
adopted the idea of a western paradise, and the A mi da 
cult believed In " the Great Buddha of the Western 
Regions”, Other Buddhists looked for comfort to the 
eastern Isles of the Blest ", In Ancient Egypt Osiris, 
"First of the Westerners", represented a cult opposed to 
Ra, the sun god of the Easterners, and the rivalry of 
the two cults is enshrined in a Pyramid text in which 
"the dead is adjured to go to the west in preference 
to the east".’ The various paradises in India and pre- 
Columbian America appear to represent rival cults that 
had been fused by theorizing priests for political pur¬ 

As a god of the cast Quetzalcoatl was identified, as 
has been noted, with the morning star. In the myths he 
came from the east and departed eastward. Under the 
sign rt cipactU (“one crocodile”) he Is shown in the 
codices with Huaxtec cone-shaped hat, and standing on 
the surface of water as ruler of the cast; he Is also shown 
in the east below the sign eecatl ("wind”),* 

As a god of the west, “the region of abundant water", 
Quetzalcoatl is sometimes a wind god and sometimes a 
rain and thunder god, who wears a chain of chakhimti 
jewels, and blows fire from his mouth before a fire vessel 
on which is a rubber ball and coiled snake.* 

* Tkowg^f h pp- ^ tt wf+1 

CkiM*it Mjffk tmi pp- 

* Codix pp, f, tj, 

• Wa., pp, *4J, tg?. 


Although shown as a god, his priestly character, how¬ 
ever, always “clings to him”, as Seler notes. He was 
reputed to be the introducer of “pcnitetitlal exercises and 
mortifications, of the blood-letting and the oftering of 
one’s own blood” when lord and king of the Toltecs. 
By his prayers and practices he ‘‘ensured for his people 
the rain required for the growth of their crops”, as did 
the Buddhist worshippers of the nSgas and dragons in 
India, China, and Japan. He was likewise, as a wind 
god, “the forerunner and sweeper of the rain god*'.‘ In 
India the rain god Indra absorbed the attributes of the 
wind god Vayu, 

Quetzalcoatl was also worshipped as the creator, the 
giver of the breath of life. He, indeed, was the god of 
wind, fire, and rain; ami Tlaloe was but a form of him. 
The explanation nuiy be, as suggested, that the priest and 
penitent, Quetzalcoatl, took the place of oil the deities 
worshipped by his cult. He was thus as the “feathered 
snake” the combined Garuda and nilga, the winged dragon, 
a personification of the complex dragon god. Being a 
nSga, he was a giver of children, and was prayed to by 
barren women, as are the n3ga gods in India to this day. 
" Quetzalcoatl, whose name", says Seler, “properly means 
‘quetzal — feather snake’, may also be translated ‘the 
costly twins’,” His array is worn by Xolotl, “the god 
of twins", * 

The quetzal bird, with which the god was connected, 
belongs to the Trogon family. It is about the size of the 
magpie, and the male has gorgeous curving tail-feathers 
of emerald colour, about three feet in length. A trogon 
is a climber with grasping feet, and at first sight looks 
like a woodpecker. It feeds on fruit, Quetzalcoatl was 
a cultivator of fruit trees at Tulla, and these trees, no 

I CaJex B, 1]S auf. • lih/, Pf. *», lyp. 


doubt} attracted the quetzals, which may have been 
oracular birds. Their connection with serpents is quite 
arbitrary* According to Seler, the tail-feathers of the 
male bird denote costlinessj plen ty of water and vegetation , 
and a thlld.^ 

Another bird with which Quetzalcoatl was connected 
was a bird which Acosta thought resembled a sparrow. 
In America the native sparrow” is really a bunting, and 
a variety of the bunting is found as far north ar Alaska, 
In China the green sparrow is a messenger from the 
supernatural world and a foreteller of “good luck", or of 
the coming of the goddess of the west, in whose garden 
paradise it nests and feeds. Sparrows, buntings, linnets, 
&c*, are supposed to foretell rain when they chirp with 
unusual vigour and clamour* In India the small birds 
symbolize fecundity. 

The images and pictures of Quetzakoatl are numerous 
and varied* He is shown in human form as a shield- 
bearing warrior grasping a thunderbolt, as a god with 
protruding bird's beak, as a priest god performing penance, 
as a sphinx-like human-headed animal, as a naked man, 
as a man with prominent breasts like the Nile god Hapi ; 
and frequently, when shown in human form, he has 
prominent ear plugs and solar ear discs. Of special interest 
is the fact that he invariably wears Huaxtec attire. Selers 
view in this connection is that Quetzalcoatl “was held to 
be the lord and prince of the earliest inhabitants of the land, 
that is, from the Mexican standpoint, the first immigrants* 
And, according to a widespread belief, this first immigra¬ 
tion followed the route through the Huaxtec territory.' ‘ 
Seler quotes the following significant Mexican hymn: 

Over the water in ships came numcratLS tribes. 

To the coast they came, to the coast situate in the North, 

^ S', ppi Z2t 


And whcrs; with ^ips ihcy landed_ 

Tliai was called Pannda where they go over the water 
that is now called Pant la. 

Then [hey followed the coasc^ 

They behold the moiintajns^ especially the Sierra Nevada and 
the Volcano (Popocatepetl)^ 

And came, still following the coast, to Gyatcnmla; 

Thereafter they came and reached 

The place called Tamoanchan (“ we seek our home 

And there they tarried long. ^ 

Seler identified Patiutb (Pantla) with the present PAnuco 

in Huaxtec tertitorj''j and writer: 

^'^Thc districts inhabited by the Huaxtec peoples—Tuxpn and 
Papanda and the conterniinous cocist lands, the land of the Totonacs 
and of die Olmcca Ubstotin—^were the seat of a very ancient and 
highly developed culture, and from the early times carried on an 
active intercourse with the Mexicans of the ccmral lahleland. 
By the Mexicans the Huaxtecs were also called Toueyfi, which Ln 
his ethnographic chapeer Sahagun explains with the tertn 
‘our ncxt\ ^our neighbour’. BuE tn reality fifutyS means ^our 
greater’, probably in the sense of ‘our elder brother*, and by 
Molina is translated ‘stranger’, * alien’ only 

because those designated by this term belonged to a foreign 
population of difiFcrent speech.*'* 

Whence came the highly cultured aitens whose 
civili^tion is represented by Queizalcoatl? They were 
cvidcridy se^Sirers who settled on the coastlands and 
introdijced the dragon beliefs so like those found in 
India, China, and japan; they intToduced various arts 
and crafts and wcll^efined laws, and their Quetialcoatl 
priests were penitents given to self-mortification like the 
Indian Brahmans; they hated war and violence, and 
instead of sacrtficing animals made offerings of flowers, 
jewels, &c*, to their deities^ That they came under 

- Cwdi* B, pp, i+i-^ i pp, 


Hindu or Buddhist itiHuence, as did sections of the 
Chinese people^ is a view which cannot be lightly dis¬ 
missed, except by those who cling to the belief in the 
spontaneous generation in different parts of the world of 
the same groups of highly complex beliefs and practices, 
like the Buddhist missionaries, the disciples of 
Quctzalcoat], the Toltec priest-god, “went forth at the 
command of their master to preach his doctrines". 
They founded several centres of worship in Oajaca, 
At Achiuhtla, the centre of Mixtcc religion, there was 
a cave with idols in which religious ceremonies were 
performed,* **A large transparent fAa/fAjjsfiV/, cntW'ined by 
a snake whose head pointed towards a little bird", was 
a spo:ia]ly sacred relic which was worshipped as “the 
heart of the people”. The relic was, according to Hurgoa, 
supposed to support the earth. Quetaalcoatl was re¬ 
presented as an Atlas in Mexico.* The “heart” sym¬ 
bolism is met with in Japanese Buddhism. “The Essence 
of Zenshutsm,” writes Professor Arthur Lloyd, “is the 
'Heart of Buddha*. But what that ‘heart’ is cannot 
exactly be said."* 

The cave jewel serpent has been linked by not a few 
Americanists with Votan, “the heart”, a Maya god. As 
we have seen, the chakkiuttl jewel was, like the green 
scarab of Egjpt, regarded as the heart—the seat of life, 
and was placed in the mouths of the Mexican dead like 
the jade tongue amulet in China. It contained “life 

Votan was, like Quetzalcoatl, “the first historian of 
his people, and wrote a book on the origin of the race, in 

' The Builcltijet clcffjr (tvitlr fi™iire 4 Oivce j n which thej racdititeil mi] per* 
fimmd itTMigniu. * Ctitx M, p. gj. 

* EltMnfi BaJ^ham ITrtvtclitra if dU Avtdf SwV# tf 



which he declares himself a sniUcc, a descendant of Imos, 
of the line of Chan, of the race of Chivim ”* Unfortunately 
the book was burned by the Spaniards, but extracts from 
it have been preserved, Accordi ng to Brasseu r dc 
fiourbourg 109), “Chan^^ signified “snake” 

and applied to the Colhuas, Chancs, or Quinamts. 
Cabrera believed that “Chivim” referred to Tripoli, 
and that it is the same as Hivim or Givim, the Pheenidan 
word for snake, which again refers to Hivites, the 
descendants of Hcth, son of Canaarip Votaifs expression, 
as given in his book, ‘4 am a snake, a Chivim ", signifies, 
“I am a Hivite from Tripoli *V 

Whatever may be thought of this view, the interesting 
tact emerges that there was a snake people in America as 
there were and arc Niga peoples in Indian. 

The Votan peoples were seafarers who settled on 
various islands, and were called by one of the peoples 
with whom they mixed the Tzequiles (“men with petti¬ 
coats J because they wore long robes. Votan is said to 
have returned to Palenque, where he found that “several 
more of the natives had arrived * these he recognized as 
^Snakes , and showed them many favours"*^ 

A tradition among the Oajacans told of the coming 
from the south-west by sea of “an old white man, with 
Jong hair and beard”, who preached to the people* “He 
lived a strict life, passing the greater part of the night in 
a kneeling posture and eating but little. He disappeared 
shortly afterwards as mysteriously as he came.” He left 
a cr<>ss 35 a memento of his visit. 

A similar personage, if not the same, called Wixcpccocha 
by the Zapotecs, who arrived by sea from the south-west, 
was a celibate. He called for repentance and expiatian. 

* Bancfort, Wr Fktifc SMtn, VoL IIJ, pp, 4JI-J, uil Note t». 

* Btftcmft, ^ Vgl. IJI, pp, 


Persecuted and driven from province to province^ he tCK>k 
refuge on the summit of Mount Cempoaltcpccj vanishing 
like a shadow and “ leaving only the print of his feet 
upon the rock'*—quite a Buddhist touch P Votan was 
supposed to have ” hollowed out of a rock his cave 
temple by blowing with Kit breath"".^ There arc also 
references to him entering the Underworld through a 
subterranean passage—one of the passages so familiar 
in Old World mythologies. 

Other “feathered serpents”, or “bird serpents”, were 
Gucumatz and Kukulcan, Gucumatz was a ruler and 
god of the Quiche-Cakchiquel empire in Guatemahj 
which “was, at the coming of the Spaniards/' says Ban¬ 
croft, the most powerful and ^mous in North America, 
except that of the Aztecs in AnAhuac, with which it never 
came into direct contact, although the fame of each was 
well known to the other, and commercial intercourse was 
carried on almost constantly* The southern empire * , 
was about three centuries old in the sixteenth century*" * 

The monarch called Gucumatz was able to transform 
himself like Indra and Odin, and like them, and the 
Egyptian king Rhampstnitus, referred to by Herodotus, 
he visited the lower regions. 

“In seven dajTs he mounted td the skies—ascended ihc mountain 
hcighcs—and in seven days he descended to rhe region of Xibalba 
(the Underworld), In seven days he took upon himself the nature 
and form of a seqient, and again of an caglci and of a tiger j and 
in seven days he changed himself into coagulated blood." ^ 

The god Gucumatz was a culture god like the Baby¬ 
lonian Ea, He was closely connected with Hurakan, the 

^ The iup^rhumin Budilha^ wEw wLi tS ft«t 

hiEh^ (rft tht nurki <if hi^i fwl in Jnpjn on w frvH ^lone " iu of thr Zoyji 
TEmpEe in Shih* tfrAi AitMit Vnl. XXXV, Put Up 

p. 336}. ^ fidntoD^ Mjiii p. ^=4^ 

* Birtcroft, m pMtift SArfti, Vah V, 5+a-l. * Vol. V, p. jln 



god of tempest, thunder, rain, and the skv, who had the 
5.|n,fic.n( .Me "H^ of H«von"j ki wm .I,o the 
Bowels of Heaven and the "Bowets of Earth” and the 
god of “the four ends of heaven" (the four quarters), 
in the Papo/ Vu/ij the sacred book of the Quiches 
Gucumatz has three manifestations, as has Hurakan, who 
represented by (i) the thunder, (2) the lightning, and 
(3) the thunderbolt j or by (1) the lightning flash, (2) its 

account of creation in the 

P&pol Uii/t it IS ^\d : 

• ^1*'^ there was stillness and darkness in the shades^ in the 

night. Alone also was the Creator, the Former, the Dominaior 
the Serpem covered with feathers. Those who fcrrilUe, those 
who give Jtfc, are upon the water Itfcc a growing light. They 
arc enveloped m green and bine vert et flf’aaar); hence their 
name is Gucumatz/* 

footnote explains; “Gucumut^ is a serpent covered 
with green and blue. . . . They are also called by this 

namc^^ be«use they are enveloped, shadowed in green 
and blue. ^ “ 

A temple oracle was a polished stone by wliich the 
gods made known their will. Quetzalcoatl was, in (ike 
manner, represented by a flint, a black stone, or by green 
stones (jadeitc). - ^ * 

Kukulcan of the Maya, who links with Quetzalcoatl 
m Cholula, Gucumatz in Guatemala, and Votan in Chiapas 
was supposed to come from the west and found or re- 
found the dty of Mayapn. He had nineteen followers, 
a wtt ong beards and dressed in long robes and 
sandals, but bare-headed”. He introduced the rites of 
confesston, and modified the existing religious beliefs. 

Aaording to Herrera he had two brothers, and all were 

• ASM i, ^ ^ , wt. 


Another Maya culture hero was Zainna or Itzamiia^ 
a priest and law-giver, who came from the west accom¬ 
panied by priests, artisans^ and even warriors ; he invented 
the hieroglyphics* He bore a close resemblance to Votan^ 

Bancroft draws attention to the Interesting fact that all 
the American culture heroes present the same general 

“They arc all described as white, bearded men, gcncially cbd 
in long robes; appearing suddenly and mysteriously upon the 
scene of their lal^uis, they at once see about improving the 
people by instructing them in useful ami ornamental arts^ gtving 
them laws, eichorting them to practise brotherly love and other 
Christian virtues, and Inttoducing a milder and better form of 
religion I having accomplished their mission, they disappear as 
mysteriously and unexpectedly as they came^ and finally, they 
are apotheosized and held in great reverence by a grateful 
posterity.” ^ 

In addition to those already given there are also 
Viracocha in Peru, Suni^ and Payc-tonne in Brazil, a 
mysterious visitor to Chili, and Bochica in Columbia* 

Viracocha was supposed to have come from the west 
and to have returned westward, disappearing in the ocean. 
Another myth makes him emerge from I^kc Titicaca as 
the creator of the sun and moon, and another makes him 
the sun which emerged from Patarl, the cave of dawn* 
Evidently the culture hero was confused with the sun 
god and creator of his cult* Peruvian legends, according 
to Torquemada, tel! of giants who came across the Pacific, 
conquered Peru and erected great buildings*? There were 

’ 7'4# Pddvi^.; VoU V, p. 13 . 

^ 'Hi? luperhuKUii m i Stonr 

Were In haTr h€vn crctlt^ hf fiiEit* m Thf CjctappaA tiyli 

ttiiildiiii wai \tx Gncccc AtlrEbutcd to ^jbEi. ChiBi tad jApan hive of fianli* 

The remcjEc prototype ef the lupiitbumict Ihiddlia Ehe Hurut^ who 

^ iiEjdfltJ," Mt Btcauteil riemLqdi* ija,,“ a iumre pf d|[h! feti)’^* 


also « numerous vague traditions of settlements or nations 
of white men^ who lived apart from the other people 
of the country, and were possessed of an advanced 

SunuS of Brazil was a white, bearded man who, how¬ 
ever, came from the cast, not the west. He introduced 
agriculture, and had power to raise and still tempests. 
The Caboclos of Brazil persecuted him, and, before he 
retired from their country, he left the prints of his feet 
on rocks as did Buddha in Ceylon and elsewhere. Paye- 
tome was also a white man. 

The apostle of the Chilians was a white man who 
performed miracles and cured the sick j he caused rain 
to f^l and crops to grow, and kindled fire at a breath. 
In like manner Buddhist priests “caused rain" by repeat¬ 
ing sutras as rain charms. 

Bochica, who gave laws to the Muyscas, was a white, 
bearded man, wearing long robes, who regulated the 
calendar, established festivals, and vanished in time like 
the others. He was supposed to be a “son of the sun 

It Is remarkable that these legends of white, bearded 
men, wearing long robes, should be so widespread and 
persistent over wide areas in America. In all cases they 
arc sedarers, teachers, and preachers, like the Buddhist 
missionaries who for centuries visited distant lands and 
left the impress of their teachings and the memory of 
their activities in the religious traditions of many different 
and widely-separated peoples. 

’ Bincraft, Tii FjfiJb Sat,^ Vol. V, p. *4. 
* Ajtbentir^ ^uulcd bf Kincrod in Tit 

SmfJ, VfliU pip. 131-314^ iRd 


Two Great Gods 

Teacatlipota aa Fen«utor tjuiwalcoad — Am a Wizard—At a Yama— 
I’hc ^'Smokinf MError”—ludiaJi Wonder-workiisg Siqrt«r—ChiiicK Mirron 
of Slone and Jade — h^ew File piooured by Sione Mirrora In Peru— Cmk 
Fik procunng Cryiia!—Sbmete and Chinese procund Fire by Mirron^— 
TcarailipcKaV MError aa a Symbol of War—Iti Connection with Fire ami ihe 
Sun—^Thc Winter Sun and Summer Sun — Teacatlpoca aa G(xl of Fire, 
Prou^hEt Death, Tnoatlipoca and the Indian Knthna—Black Fotrmt 
of Temtllpnca—Gold Mirror oiled ^Tbe Viewer "—SptdcrV Web 
^yih—Repulsive Formi of TetcatllpocHf ihe Indian Kubeni, and the Greek 
FIulei*—H uitiilopochtU the War GoiJ—Bird and Serpent Connectioai—The 
Oracular Humming - ^rd—HuitzElopacfatlj u God of the L^t and the 

^uih _ ^Texotlipoca u God of the Ri^ht and the North — God-eating 

FetftivaJjr^Pay natron the SubuEiute War God—Kuitdlopochtli ami ihe 
Indian Shiva—Skull Oracks — SkuUi and RaEn-getung—^Human SaciiAcet 
in New and Old World 

In the Mexican legend of Quetzalcoatl, the god Tezeat- 
lipoca figures as the persecutor who contrives to make 
the white-bearded and aged priest-king depart from Tulla 
towards the east. In this connection he is a wizard who 
can change his form at will. As a godj however, Tezeat- 
Itpoca absorbs certain of the attributes of Quetzalcoatl, 
and he even appears as his companion. An obscure 
myth, which is illustrated in one of the codices, makes 
Tezcatlipoca visit Hades, accompanied by Quetzalcoatl, 
certain of whose symbols he has assumed. It would 
appear that, like the Indian Yama and the Egyptian 
Ap-uat, Tezcatlipoca was regarded as the first man to 
**open the way*^, or discover the road to Hades.^ This 

^ S«]£f, Cstdi^ nigh 


phtise of his character may have been derived from Xipe 
Totec* who figures, indeed, as the “ Red TezcatJipoca ” in 
association with QuetzaJeoad, performing acts of penance 
in the ** House of Sorrow ” and on the summit of Cat* 
citepulz (‘*the mountain which speaks"), a mountain 
covered with thorns, from which he calls on the people 
of Tulan to do penance with him on account of their sins. 
The interpreter of Codex Faticamt slates: “They held 
Xipe Totec in the utmost veneration, for they said that 
he was the first who opened to them the way to heaven, 
for thej' were under this error amongst others'—they sup¬ 
posed that only those who died in war went to heaven '*.* 

As a rule, Tezcatlipoca is shown as a god of the 
north, but he is also found sometimes in the south and 
in the east.* 

An outstanding symbol of this god is the ”smoking 
mirror", which, in fact, gives him his name, and must 
therefore be regarded as of first importance. This mirror 
is of polished black obsidian, and recalls at the outset the 
polished stone in the temple of the Maya god, Gucumatz 
(as Tohil), by means of w'hich the gods made known 
their will, as well as the black stone, the flint, and the 
green stones (Jadeite) of Quctzalcoatl, and the large 
transparent thakhiuUl (a gem of some kind) entwined by 
the Votan snake god of the Mixtccs. As Tezcatlipoca 
was a wizard and seer, and had, as will be shown, a 
gold mirror named ^‘Viewer”, the obsidian mirror was 
no doubt used, as Sahagun indicates, for purposes of 

Crystallomancy (crystal gazing) by means of precious 
stones, mirrors, &c., is of great antiquity, and the object 

^ K.iEif*botTougliTf Aaiifusjifr v/ V0L VI, y, jo. 

^ I dxn'iiju Bortb}, 81 (far the 

mi (fflf 



Ik XipF TDteCj wild Ml PTIE of -hii fijcMlii U thr M-ecI #^+ 

If T-ciTCQlEippci at purple Ji 3 ^uJiT', taiih Wiie mafkinp 3*11 J ^lawi / Jitr+'iin-jj r 4:^^+ 

3, Tcucatiipocfl a» purple biH pewJ {Ctnifi; f 'rfWi’-JH** 4+ BLsniSfaSi TeicutipoO ^Cnjlpa 



used had to be of spherical or oval shape and finely 
polished. As those who used the crystal or mirror had 
to be penitents given to fbting^ prayer^ and contemplation, 
and had to face the east, the possibility cannot be over¬ 
looked that Tezcatlipoca's mirror was, like the Quetzal- 
coatl stones and those of Gucumatz and Votan, introduced 
from Asia, It does not follow, however, that Tezeat- 
llpoca's mirror was borrowed from Quetzalcoatl. As a 
crystal gazer TczcatUpoca may represent an intruding 
cult which had acquired the divination mirror from the 
same source as did the Buddhists, 

An interesting fact about crystallomancy is that the 
stone or mirror, before revealing anything, was supposed 
to be obscured by mist or smoke. TezcatlipocaV “smoking 
mirror" may therefore have been a mirror which was 
about to reveal to the magician the will of the gods, the 
future, or some sort of knowledge of special importance. 
“Adam's jewel", for instance^ was used to light the way 
to the Underworld. It was used by the emissary of 
Alexander the Great, who passed through the dark 
mountain tunnd in quest of the Well of Life, 

Divination and “luck stones" were also used for 
other purposes. Krishna, the Hindu mangod, became 
the possessor of a “wonder-working stone”, and “its 
properties of procuring plenty to the country of its 
possessor, and of bringing down rain when needed, aUy 
it”, as Wilson says, “to the marvellous stone, for the 
acquisition of which the Tartar tribes not infrequently 
had recourse to hostilities”.'^ Another fomous Indian 
stone was the Chandrakdnta (“moon gem"), “which was 
supposed to absorb the rays of the moon and to emit 
them again". The same properties were possessed by 
the moon pearl or “dragon pearl". Cooling and heating 

^ m Vol# [, ff-. i JI-3- 




jades are referred to in the jade lore of China and Japan, 
Chessmen of black and white jade were "warm in winterj 
cool in summer^ and known as cool and warm jade 

References are made in Chinese texts to mirrors of 
jade and stone which were placed in graves. These majr 
have been intended to light the way to Hades, to assist 
the pilgrim by making revelations for his guidance, and 
to Indicate, like the Gucumatz polished stone, the will of 
the gods. The Buddhists had various modes of sitting 
in meditation. One mode was: Moondisk Contem¬ 
plation, gazing fixedly at a disk of the bright full moon 
suspended in front of the devotee’s breast,” * 

Mirrors and crystals were also used to procure fire 
from heaven, and especially from the sun. Laufer notes, 
in this connection, that “stone mirrors were known in 
ancient Peru”, These were “of a circular form”, with 
“one of the surfaces flat with all the smoothness of a 
crystal looking-glass". Others were “oval and something 
spherical and the polish not so fine". One Peruvian 
stone mirror referred to was of "Inca stone”, the other 
being of Gallinazo stone. The latter was “very hard, 
brittle as flint and of black colour”, and may have been, 
as Laufer suggests, of black obsidian. The mirrors were 
of various sizes, generally three or four inches in diameter, 
but reference is made to one a foot and a half; "its 
principal surface was concave, and greatly enlarged 

The virgin priestesses of the Incas of Peru procured 
new fire at midsummer by holding towards the sun a 
hollow mirror, which reflected its beams on a tinder of 
cotton-wooL Sir James G. Frazer notes in this connection 

' JaJft Jiv JJJ. 

* tVnwnu ^th, Atu6c Vfl), XXXVlfl, 1^ II, p, 19. 

* p, JO, jitid Kvtt 



m The Gsidett that the Greeks lit sacred fires by 

means of a crystal. ”Nor’*, he writes, “were the Greeks 
and Peruvians peculiar b this respect. The Siamese and 
Chinese have also the habit of kindling a sacred hre by 
means of a metal mirror or burning glass.” Copper was 
used in China as a substitute for jade, as Jade was for 
gold, sliver, pearls, gems, &c. 

TexcatUpoca's mirror is sometimes shown with clouds 
of flame or smoke issuing from it. In Codex Borpa 
(fig. 289, Codex UatUaaus B") the flames are combined 
with a water vessel. Scleras view is that the Intentioti 
was to represent water and fire, ‘‘the symbol of war”, 
and that the “smoking mirror” at the temple of the 
god's head and In the Codex Borp*i “is Itsdf nothing 
more than a symbol of war”. It would appear, however, 
that the fire connection is important in itself. The mirror 
may have been used like the Peruvian “stone mirror” to 
procure new fire from the sun. Tezcatlipoca was the ruler 
of the winter-sun period, and his brother, Huitzilopochtli—- 
who was associated with the lire god and was, indeed, 
himself, among other things, a fire and solar god — was the 
ruler of the summer-sun period. The “smoking mirror” 
may have been a rclic^—^that is, Tezeatlipoca may have 
originally been prominent as a solar fire god befiire he 
was given a pkee In the later Aatcc pantheon, which no 
doubt reflected local politics after the Aztec power became 
supreme tn Mexico and the gods of the conquerors and 
the conquered were shown in a new association. As in 
Asia and Europe, the summer-sun period and the winter- 
sun period were ushered in by lighting sacred fires. 

There are points of resemblance between Tezcatllpoca 
and the fire god Huchueteotl (“the ancient god"), who 
was celebrated at two annual festivals and had associations 

^ sjid N&tc 1, 344 



with the god of war* Tozcatlipoca was depicted as a 
creator of fire who used the fire drill. He was, therefore, 
connected with lightning as well as the sun. The inter¬ 
preter of TeHeriam-Rmeitsu states that “ they^ paid 

Tczcatlipoca great reverence, for they kept lights and 
fires burning in his honour in the temples”. 

Although, in one of his aspects, a god of drought, 
Tezcadipoca was also a rain-bringer. His cold northern 
rain caused the maize ears to freeze. like Tlaloc he 
was connected with the rain-bird, the turkey (*'the jewel 
fowl”). Withal, he was the god of the Great Bear 
constellation which in China regulates the seasons; he 
helped at birth as the love god; he slew the pulque god; 
he was a wind god; with Huitzilopochtli, he was a god 
of the upper heaven ; and he was the bfind god of justice 
(the Avenger) and the black god of death, while, like the 
fire god, he was intimately associated with the god of war,’ 

Clavigero says that Tczcatlipoca was the greatest god 
adored by the Aztecs “after the invisible God or Supreme 
Being. . . . He was the god of Providence, the soul of the 
world, the creator of heaven and earth, and master of all 
things. They represented him as always young to denote 
that no length of years ever diminished his power; they 
believed that he rewarded with various benefits the just, 
and punished the wicked with diseases and other afflic¬ 

The original Tezcadipoca appears to be revealed by 
the young man who impersonated him for a year and ^vas 
then sacrificed. This victim behaved in a manner which 
recalls the black Hindu man-god Krishna, who played on 
the flute, was given to wearing jewels and flower garlands, 

* pp. ] 7 3, U A riEQ ^ ll a fire (Od ^ 1* * 

iiir ^ i ** *■ t ** 

3. |(iJ at jui(^; for uiacutivn wiik wir jodi 



and to making love to many girls. For the year during 
which he masqueraded as Teicatlipoaij the Mexican youth 
was greatly honoured. He went about playing a fiutOj 
wearing flower garlands^ or carrying flowers, attended by 
eight pages who were dad like princes. Four girls were 
his temporary wives. Nobles and princes entertained, 
him, and in the streets he was saluted as a god. It is of 
special importance to note that his body and fiice were 
painted black, and that his ornaments included sea shells, 
gold bells, precious stones, and a large gem on his bre^t. 
In the end a great feast, attended by elaborate ceremonies, 
was held, and the youth was sacrificed by having his heart 
torn out and his head cut off. 

Clavigero has interesting things to s-ay about the flute. 
He tells that ten days before the festival in honour of 
Tezeatlipoca the priest assumed the habits and badges of 
the god. “ He went out of the temple with a bunch of 
flowers in his hands, and a little flute of clay which made 
a very shrill sound. Turning his face towards the east, and 
afterwards to the other three principal winds, he sounded 
the flute loudly, and then taking up a little dust from 
the earth with his Anger, he put it into his mouth and 
swallowed it. On hearing the sound of the flute all 

kneeled down_The sound of the flute was repeated 

every day until the festival." Evidently the god was 
summoned by the flute. In China white jade ‘‘ male^ 
and “female” flutes and bamboo flutes were used in 
religious ceremonies, “Jade flutes," says LiSufer, **arc 
frequently alluded to In Chinese literature. The Si Utig 
tjti ki relates that at Hien-yang there was a jade flute with 
twenty-six holes. When the Emperor Kao-tsu first went 
to that place, he spied it in the treasury and played on it, 
whereupon mountains and groves with horses and chariots 
appeared in n mist, vanishing altogether when he ceased 


playing^ * Flutes were used in religious ceremonies in 
Babylonia, Tam muz was mo urned ann ually to the 
music of the flute. In Syria and Asia Minor flutes were 
played in connection with the festivals of the mother god¬ 
dess and of Attisj as they still are in connection with 
Krishna rites in India# A famous flute player was 
Marsyasj who is sometimes referred to in the classics as 
a shepherd and somerlmcs as a Phrygian satyr or SJlenus^ 
He challenged Apollo to a musical contest and, being 
vanquished, was mutilated and flayed, Herodotus (VII, 
26) teUs that in the market-place ol: Celarnic, in which the 
Cataract stream riseSj hung to view the skin of the 
Silenus Marsj^s, which Apollo^ as the Phrygian storj' 
goes, stripped off and placed there”. The skin was kept 
in a cave, and used to thrill when Phrygian music was 
played. Xipc Totec (the red Tezcatlipoca) was a flayed 
god, and the skins of his victims were deposked in a 
cave* The flute-playing Mexican god appears to bear 
traces of the influence of the ancient Old-World cult of 
the god who spent part of his year in Hades and part in 
this world, and figures as Tammuii in Babylonia and as 
Attis and Adonis in Syria, Anatolia, and Greece. The 
original flute-playing god may have given origin to the 
legends of the Pied Piper of Hamelin order* In Sardinia, 
on St. John’s Day, a young man selected a ramrif (gossip 
and sweetheart), and marched with a long retinue headed 
by children to a church, where they broke against the 
door a pot of earth in which barley seeds had been sown. 
Thereafter they sat on the grass and ate eggs and herbs 
to the music of flutes, and then drank wine and danced*^ 
As a Pied Piper Tezcatlipoca (as Xipc Totec) destroys 

* Lmftr, pp, jji-j* Biiliepi fnwtrVjfrua ctJ Snii/ui u (Ntw Voiiit 

Vd, p. 

* Tie Gildn (“Adam's Attis OtWi" toLJ, pj eJWoB, pp, iai, tti, StJ, 
MJ, tlE, 14a. 


the adults of Tulan by causing them to fiUl into a cavity 
between two tnouiitams which closed together and buried 
them; none but children remained alive. The interpreter 
of Caeiex yaik^inasy dealing with this inddentj says that 
the people went forth “dandng and jesting,” the devil 
(Tezeatlipoca) “leading the way directing the minuet or 
dance Plate XIV is said to refer to the two masters 
of penance Quetzalccatl and Xipc Totcc (Tezcatlipoca), 
“who having taken the children and the innocent people 
who remained in Tulan, proceeded with them peopling 
the world and collecting along with them other people 
whom they chanced to find”. It is further wJded: 
“Journeying in this manner with these people they 
arrived at a certain mountain which, not being able to 
pass, they feign that they bored a subterranean way through 
it and so passed. Others say that they remained shut up 
and that they were transformed into stones, and other 
such fables.” 

An interesting collection of Pied Piper stories is given 
in his Curmts Mydis the Middle by the Rev. S. 
Baring-Gould, He has found the belief in the super¬ 
natural flute-call even in Yorkshire. “A Wesleyan,” he 
writes, told me one day that he was sure his little ser¬ 
vant-girl was going to die; for the night before, as he 
had lain awake, he had heard an angel piping to her in 
an adjoining room; the music was inexpressibly sweet, like 
the warbling of a flute, *And when t’ aingels gang that 
road,’ said the yorkshire man, * they're boun' to tak’ 
bairns’ souls wi’ ’em.’ ” 

Baring-Gould thinks that the flute or pipe player “is 
no other than the wind He sees in the Greek Hermes 
two entirely distinct deities *‘run into onc ”^the Pelasgic 
Hermes, the solar generator of life, who is “a tricksy, 

^ LendgPt f +17 up 


thievish youth and the other Hermes^ the impetuous 
wind, « whose representative Sarami exists as the gale in 
Indian mythology. Hermes Pyschopompos is therefore 
the -^nd bearing away the souls of the dead” The 
Mexican Hermes, Tezcatlipoea, was made up of several 
deities ” run into one 

In the city of Mexico the chief inuges of Tczcatllpoca 
were fashioned m ifz/ii a shining bkek variety of obsidian, 
the *^divmc stone’" (/ffl/if//). The god was also shown as 
a black dejty in the codices; at any rate, his face and arms 
were black, although his legs were white and red-striped. 
In this form (Ccde:< Borgm, 2i) he recalls the Indian Shiva 
as well 23 the block Krishna. Shiva w'as a destroyer"^ 
as Xezcatlipoca was an avenger"* There was also, as 
has been stated, a red Tez<^tlipoca who, according to 
Seler, was a form of Xipe Totec,^ The devotees of the 
Indian Vishnu cult had perpendicular streaks of white 
clay and red chalk on their foreheads.* 

The ears of the black Mexican idol of the young god 
Tezcadipoca were adorned with symbolic ornaments of 
gold and silver, and a crystal tube was thrust through 
his lower lip; this tube enclosed a green or blue feather, 
as if to indicate its connection with the heart (soul)* His 
hair^ drawn into a queue, was bound with gold and decked 
with feathers, while a gr<^t jewel of gold suspended from 
his neck covered his breast. There were gold bnicetets 
on his arms, and in his left hand a gold mirror which was 
called MicAm (* 4 he viewer"")- As the south was on 
^*the left the mirror had, no doubt, a solar significance^ 
A green stone was set in his nnveL The metals, gems, 
and feathers ** adorning"" the idol, indicate that the god 
had many attributes, and was, like the Indian Shiva, con- 

» ^ (BuUitEtl ji), j,^. 

“ W'kliao, Eijjjt H Somhrit VoL Ip f. 57, 



iiected with the sun and moon and with Jivc^ving water. 
His right foot was supposed to have been cut off in 
Hades, owing to the door having closed qulckljf as he 
emerged, and was sometimes replaced by a stump of 
flint shaped like a knife, by the “smoking mirror", or 
by a deer’s foot, or a serpent for a foot. As a god of the 
night-wind, he was a speedy traveller. It may be, how¬ 
ever, that Tezeatlipoca's connection with the deer had a 
deeper significance, and that it referred to his connection 
with fire (lightning) and rain. Stone seats were placed at 
street corners for the god, who was supposed to need rest 
in the course of his wanderings. 

Tezcatltpoca was one of the gods who sacrificed 
himself to enable the sun to rise at the beginning. 
An obscure mjth relates that he descended from heaven 
by a rope made from a spider’s web. Some of the super¬ 
natural beings in India, especially the star maidens, reach 
the earth in like manner during the night, to bathe in 
sacred pools.' In this connection Sclcr notes that “a 
spider (tocati) is figured wherever a god is represented 
who was regarded as one of the TzitiimimS, the forms 
descending from above, the stellar gods and demons of 
dark ness’V Like the J apanese Susa-no-wo, Tezcatllpoca 
sinned in heaven and was cast out. From the war in 
heaven “ sprung the wars below **. According to the inter¬ 
preter of Codex Vatkams^ Tezeadipoca was in one of bis 
forms “Lord of Sin or Blindness " who “committed sin 
in Paradise" and had his eyes bandaged. His star pro¬ 
ceeds in a “backward course". This star may have been 
the planet Mars. As a cock he “ deceived the first woman 
who committed sin He was sometimes depicted with 
the foot of a cock or an eagle. The cock is a sinister 
bird in China and is associated with Hades. 


As the persecutor of Quetzalcoatl, TczcatJipoca 
ipp^ed first as an old man, a sorcerer, who gave the 
good god an intoxicating drink that would renew his 
j necessary, however, that Quctzalcoatl 

should depart from Tulla. «On thy return" the sorcerer 
^sured him, “thou shalt be as a youth, yea, a boy'' 

The elixir was pulque; it made Quetxalcoatl drunk and 
moved him to go away» 

T r Teacatlipoca appeared in the market¬ 

place of Tulla stark naked. He was a handsome but 
^or young foreigner who sold green chilly pepper. The 
daughter of the Tokec king fell in love with him, and 
was smitten with sickness because the stranger suddenly 
diapi^red. When he was discovered, he was given 
suitable clothing and taken before the princess, whom 
he cured and married. 

Owing to this marriage of royalty with a poor 
foreigner a rebellion broke out. Tezcatlipoca, assisted 
On y by dwarfe and lame m^n, won a great victory, 
eifig matchless in war* He afterwards invited the 
Toltecs to a great festival, which lasted from sunset 
till midnight. He sang and danced, and induced the 
people to follow him. When, however, the crowd was 
massed on a bridge above a ravine through which a river 
flowed, Tezcatlipoca broke down the bridge and caused 
great slaughter. He was the destroyer of the Toltecs. 
On another occasion he slew many in a flower garden— 
evidently the flower garden of the love goddess. Various 
wonders, that inevitably resulted in the slaughter of 
Toltecs, were performed by the sorcerer god in human 
form. On one occasion he caused stones to foil from 
heaven; on another he made all food unfit to be eaten. 

Like the Indian Krishna, Tezcatlipoca revelled in 
sensuaLty and the sUughtcr of human beings, but he 


had also, as had Krishna, a lofty side to his character. 
With the goddess Tlaelquani, he eradicated sins after 
confession by penitents, and figured as the turkey (the 
"jewel fowl”), which ensured immortality as well as 

An interesting fact about TezcatUpoca and Quctzalcoatl 
is that both had repulsive forms. In the city of Cholula, 
Quetzalcoatl's image " had a very ugly face". This image 
"was not set on its feet but lying down and covered with 
blankets”.* The repulsive Tezcatlipoca is met with in a 
stony, which depicts him as a sorcerer who appeared in 
Tulla with Huiuilopochtli as a manikin dancing on his 
hand." He asks the people to stone him and kill him. 
The body of the sorcerer afterwards lay in the market¬ 
place and the smell of It tainted the air. This cvil- 
smclling corpse was so heavy that it could not be moved. 
Ropes were fastened to it and pulled by crowds, but rope 
after rope broke and many who pulled were killed. At 
length the horrible corpse was dragged out of the city. 

^^The Hindu god Kubera, who, like Tezcatlipoca, was 
a god of the north, had a variety of names. One, 
expressive of his deformity, was derived from the words 
for "vile” and “body”. Wilson notes that, in Hindu 
mythology, Kubera performs the functions of the Grecian 
Plutus. He is the god of wealth, and master of nine 
inestimable treasures. . . . “ Plutus is described as blind, 
malignant, and cowardly." Kubera bad a garden in 
his northern paradise. In Brahmatiic times he became 
associated with Shiva, In Tezcatlipoca there are traces 
of a blending of not only Krishna and Shiva, but the vile 
form of Kubera, the god of treasure, and the blind Plutus. 

* Jufj-jj* t/AmtritM £dntltgj ai), ^ if 

* D^nemftp Til# Ell, i^r 

■ In I CocIjc iioiy FinB-aiK-Cfly^l U JtjmUirl/ uhiibilcd OB the hjad of 1 |ii<m 


The red Tezcatlipoca's connection with Xlpe is of interest 
as Xipe resembles Kubera as the god of gold, ’ 

Not only have we in Mexico the blending of deities, 
forming complex gods, but the blending of deities who 
were of highly complex character before they were trans^ 
ported across the Pacific, to be ultimately fitted into a 
mythology which was framed to suit local conditions. 
The struggle between Tezcatllpoca and Quetzalcoatl was 
in a sense a reflection of American climatic phenomena; 
Jt was also a reflection of political conditions—the struggle 
between rival cults and rival tribes. 

Huitzilopochtli was associated not only with Tezeat- 
lipoca, but with the rain god TIaloc. He was thus 
localized. The process of localization has, as in the case 
of Tczcatlipoca, somewhat obscured his original character. 
He appears to have been the chief god of the Aztecs, but 
after settling in Mexico the Aztecs embraced the beliefr 
and customs of their predecessors and mixed them with 
them own, forming a highly complex amalgam. 

^he great gods of pre-Columbian America, 
HuitziIojMchtli was connected with the widespread and 
ancient bird-and-serpent myth. His particular bird was 
the humming-bird, which took the place of some other 
bird; “The English traveller Bullock", says Bancroft, 
“tells how this bird distinguishes itself for its extraordinary 
courage, attacking others ten times its own size, flying 
into their eyes and using its sharp bill as a most dangerous 
weapon. Nothing more daring can be witnessed than its 
attack upon other birds of its own species when it fears 
disturbance during the breeding season. The effects of 
jealousy transform these birds into perfect furies.. . . The 
small but brave and warlike woodpecker stood in a similar 
relation to Mars, and it is accordingly firmedphusmarHus,”^ 

* Tki Vg4. Ill,, pp, 


The humming-birds resemble the brillbntly coloured 
sun-birds of Africa, They vary In size from that of the 
humble-bee to that of a -wren, and have great beauty of 
form and plumage. They are peculiar to the Americas, 
and, although their range extends to Alaska, their head¬ 
quarters are in the neo-tropical region, where four-fifths 
of the species are found. Humming-birds feed on 
insects found inside brilliantly coloured flowers; they also 
suck honey and carry it to their young, into whose mouths 
they thrust their honey-smeared tongues. They never 
alight to feed, but hover before the flowers into which 
they dip their beaks. A loud humming noise is made 
by their rapidly moving wings. 

The bird of the Aztec god was an oracle. In a myth 
about a man named Huitziton, who is usually regarded 
as Huitzilopochtli in human form, it is told that when 
the Aztecs lived in their northern homeland of Aztian, he 
heard a bird which cried “tlhui” (“let us go*y He 
asked the people to leave Aztian, and this they did. It is 
not Slated how Huitiiton, like Siegfried, the dragon 
slayer and devourer of its heart, came to understand 
“the language of birds”. His name signifies “small 
humming-bird". Huiteiton was the soothsayer and bird 
in one. The Celtic Druids understood "the language" 
of the wren, and, according to W hidey Stokes, the Gaelic 
names of wren and Druid are derived from the root 
which is cognate with "truth”. The soothsayer was the 

The Aztecs were guided to Mexico by this god, and, 
as has been indicated, founded the city of Tenochtithn 
(Mexico) on the site where they saw the eagle, with the 
serpent in its talons, perched on a nopal (Opuntic) growing 

' Tliip !• ttiE tWfil tirJ coniwtlAi wilh iJw pul; tic buftimSuiJirita iihl dc 
hcinf the Qilhcrfn. 

2 S 6 precolumbian AMERICA 

upon a rack. The broad wings of the serpent were 
spread out to the rismg sun, [t formed “the winged 
disc”—the ancient bird* serpent, and sun symbol of 
Egypt, Assyria, &c., as has been already indicated. 

According to Acosta the chief idol in Mexico was 
that of the war god Huitzilopochdi, It was made of 
wood in human shape, and was seated on an azure stool 
in a litter with serpents’ heads at each corner. 

“This idol had all the forehead aaure and had a band of aaure 
under the no« from one car to another. Upon hb head he had a 
rich ptumc of feathers, like to the beak of a small bird. ... He 
had in his left hand a white shield, with figures of five piu^pplcs, 
made of white feathers, set fn a cross j and from above issued forth 
a crest of ^Id, and at his sides he had four darts which (the 
Mexicans told) had been sent from heaven. ... Li his right 
hand he had an azure staff, cut in the fashion of a waving snake,” 

There was also in Mexico s famous temple of the god. 

It was built of great stones, in the fashion of siutkcs tied one 
to another, and the circle was called CoBtepoijili, which is, a 
circuit of snakes. . . , There were four gates or entries, at the 
cast, west, north, mid south. Upon the top of the temple were 

mo idols, , . , VitziUputzli (Huitaiiopochtli} and his companion, 

According to Sahagun, Huit'xilopDchtli was originally 
a huni4n being resembling Hercules, who performed great 
feats, especially as a slayer and destroyer. He carried a 
fiery dragon symboL As a sorcerer he could transform 
himself into birds and wild beasts. Camaxtli of Tlascala 
resembled him closely* 

Another name of the god was Mexitli^ and from it 
the name of Mexico was supposed to have been derived. 

A myth makes the war god a son of CoatlicuCj the 
serpent goddess earth beast”) of serpent mountain. 


One day when walking in the temple she saw a ball 
of feathers felling from the sky. She picked it up and 
placed it in her bosom, and then became pregnant. Her 
children, unaware of the miraculous happening, regarded 
her condition with indignation, and, to avert the impending 
dishonour to the femily, plotted to kill her. As they came 
against her she gave birth to Huiteilopochtli. Like the 
Indian Kama, the Teutonic Siegfried, &c., he came into 
the world fully armed and with lines of blue on his face, 
arms, and thighs. He attacked and slew his mother's 

In another version of the myth the war god has two 
mothers, Teteionnan, the goddess, and Coatlicue. Osiris 
was similarly “the bull begotten of the two cows Isis and 
Nephthys”, The Hindu warrior, Jarasandha, had like¬ 
wise two mothers. Bancroft notes in this connection that 
Aphrodite and Athena had different fathers.* 

A good deal of speculation has been indul^d in as to 
the meaning of Huitailopochtli's name, which is translated 
**Humming-bird to the left". When he was born bis 
left leg and head were adorned with the green plumes of 
the humming-bird. In Axtec mythology the left (opochtli) 
was the south, and the humming-bird god was the god of 
the southern region as, in China, the god of the south 
was the Red Bird. Huitzilopochtli’s temple in Mexico 
city faced the south, which was «to the left” or “on the 
left hand". The god was connected with fire—he 
the discoverer of fire—and the summer sun. Opposite 
Huitiilopochlli, on the north and “to the right , was 
the blind form of Tcacatlipoca as the god of justice and 
death and drought, Quetzalcoad being on the cast, and 
Xipe Totec on the west. There were other arrangements 
of the deities in the complicated and perplexing Mexican 

‘ t*t pjti/fr Sam, VoL 111, p. Jit. 


systems, often so obscure, which varied according to cult, 
astrological views, season, and age. Similar complex 
ideas are to be met with in India, where the Brahmans 
wove mystifying allegories as assiduously as did the 
Mexian priests; these became, in the process of time, 
obscure to even their successors. In his name of Huitiil- 
opochtli, the so-called ‘‘war god" of Mexico was essentially 
the guardian of the south. 

The bird “on the left” is met with in India. This is 
the chdtaka, a bird supposed to drink no water except 
rain water. It is always “a prominent figure in the 
description of wet and cloudy weather”, and is invariably 
referred to as being “left”, that is, “on the left side” 
An interesting statement by a native commentator In this 
connection is i 

"Peacocks, cliitakas, cbislus (blue jays), mi othef male birds, 
occasionally also antelopes, going chcerfuUy along the left, give 
good fanune to the host”. 

The late Professor H, H, Wilsorij who occitpied the 
Sanskrit chair at Oxford University, wrote in this 

"The Greek nations agreed with those of Rinmnitha, and 
considered the flight of birds upon the right side to be auspicious ^ 
the Rom^ms made it the left j bidC this diflercnce arose from the 
SLtuafion of the olwerver, as in both cases the auspicious (juarter 
Was the east. In general among the kiindus, those omens which 
occur upon the left side arc unpropitious^^ ^ 

Rdmanitha, the Hindu commentator who contended 
that to be auspicious the birds should, be " upon the right 
side, not upon the left'*, was evidently unaware that to 
some Indian cults the left was more sacred than the rights 
The conflict between the cults of east and west was of 

1 Littr4Uwrf^ VoL II* Ldt^clpn, 

wo GREAT GODS 189 

great ajitiquity. In Mexico, the original Huitzilopochtli 
cult of the Aztecs appears to have favoured the west, the 
south being on the left, and the north on the right. The 
Tlaloc cult held the east to be the most sacred region. 
It may be that the Old-World struggle between the 
ancient cults of east and west is also reflected in the 
myths about Quetxalcoatl, who sometimes comes from 
the west and sometimes from the east. 

Not only was Huitxilopochtli the god of the south, 
of fire, and the sun of summer, he was ^so a rain-brlnger 
who was associated with Tlaloc. In Mexico, as in China, 
the south was the region assigned to summer, and the 
north the region assigned to the god of winter, drought, 
and death. In Mexico, however, the summer is the rainy 
season. It is during the rainy season that the humming¬ 
bird becomes active. According to ancient Mexican 
belief, the humming-bird is featherless during winter 
and hangs limp and lifeless from a tree ; it renews its 
youth in the rainy season at the beginning of summer. 

Huitzilopochtli was further given a stellar significance. 
With Quenalcoatl, Tezcatlipoca, and other deities, he is 
found included among the group of star gods whose ruler 
is Itzpapalotl, the obsidian butterfly female demon or 
goddess. As the butterfly was a form of fire, it would 
appear that its connection with obsidian was due to the use 
of the obsidian mirror for the purpose of procuring fire. 

The humming-bird, which thrusts Its long beak into 
flowers and feeds on honey-devouring insects and carries 
honey to its young, nests in the agave plant. It is not 
surprising, therefore, to find traces of belief In the honey 
elixir of life in connection with Huitzilopochtli rites. In 
India the oblation called Atgha or Arghya consisted of 
** water, milk, the points of Ku&i-grass, curds, clarified 
butter, rice, barley, and white mustard”, or “saffron, the 


Bel, unbroken gmin, flowers, curds, Durba-grass, Kusa- 
giuss, and Sesamunj”. The oblation to the sun was 
"Tila, flowers, barley, water, and red Sanders", or ‘'water 
mixed with sandal and flowers”. The Greeks offered 
"libations of honey, milk, oil, and water”, and "the solid 
parts of an offering consisted of herbs, grains, fruits, 
flowers, and frankincense”.* 

In Mexico images of Huitzilopochtli were made of 
dough prepared from seeds and edible plants, or from 
maize, and mixed with honey and blood. The Images 
were ccrcnaonlally eaten. In India rice cakes, which 
were offered as substitutes for human beings, were sup¬ 
posed to be transformed by the Brahmans, as were the 
dough images of Huitzilopochtli by the Mexican priests. 
The Hindu priest declared that " when it (the rice cake) 
still consists of rice meal, it Is the hair. When he pours 
water on it, it becomes skin. When he mixes it, it be¬ 
comes flesh: for then it becomes consistent; and con¬ 
sistent also is the flesh. When it is baked, it becomes 
bone. And when he is about to take it off (the lire) and 
sprinkles it with butter, he changes it into marrow. This 
is the completeness which they call the five-fold animal 
sacrifice.” * 

The images of Huitzilopochtli were made and eaten 
twice a year—'in December, the beginning of winter, and 
May, the beginning of summer. 

At the December festival various seeds were kneaded 
into dough and mixed with the blood of sacrificed chil¬ 
dren, the bones being represented by bits of acacia wood. 
The king burned incense before the image, as incense 
was burned before Egyptian mummies to impart vitality 

^ W[?rVt by M. IL WlEhhi {JTwcfi m SamAtir VoL [1 ^ ppk 


^ ThM aaigiki of tlit Val XllJ* Pin 1^ p, jl. 



to the corpse by restoring the body heat ajid odours. 
Next dayj a priest, who impersonated QuetzalcoaU, 
“killed the god so that his body might be eaten" by 
piercing the breast of the dough image with a dint-tipped 
arrow. Then the heart was cut out and given to the 
king, who ate it. Men, youths, boys, and even male 
in&nts were given portions of the image to swallow. 
Females did not partake of the god’s body, howevef. 

Another account states that the December feast was 
called PanquetzaliztU (“the elevation of banners"). 
Cakes were baked and these were broken in pieces. 

“These the high priest pul into certain very clean vesels, and 
with the thorn of the maguey, which resembles a thick needle, he 
took up with the utmost reverence single morseis. Bud put them 
into the mouth of each individual, in the manner of communion.” ^ 

The May ceremony was of elaborate character. Two 
days before the mqtiah (“the god is eaten”) ceremony, 
an image of the deity was prepared by nuns—the secluded 
virgin priestesses of the war god’s temple—who made 
dough by mixing seeds of the beet and roasted maixe 
with honey, A great Idol was formed of the dough, the 
eyes being formed with groen, blue, and white stones, 
and the teeth with grains of maixe. Clothed in rich 
raiment and seated in a blue chatr, the image was carried 
forth by the nuns, who wore white attire and new orna¬ 
ments, were crowned with garlands of maize, and had their 
cheeks stained with vermilion and their forearms adorned 
with red parrot feathers. The nuns were the “sisters’ 
of the god. They gave the idol to youths who were 
attired in red robes, and they carried it to the base of the 
pyramid-shaped temple, and drew it up the steps to the 
accompaniment of music, the silent worshippers mean- 


time standing In the court “with much reverence and 

The image was deposited in "a little lodge of roses’* 
on the temple summit^ and oflferings of dowers were 
made> Then the nuns brought pieces of dough, which 
were shaped like bones, from their convent, and gave 
them to the young men who deposited them at the feet 
of the idol. 

Thereafter the priests of the various orders, which were 
indicated by the colours of their sacred vestments, wear- 
ing garlands on their heads and chains of flowers round 
their necks, worshipped the gods and goddesses, and sang 
and danced round the Idol; consecrating the dough bones 
and flesh. Human sacriflecs were then offered up, the 
hearts of victims being torn out. A sacred dance was 
subsequently performed by the youths and young nuns, 
who also sang sacred songs; while the great men of the 
kingdom, forming a circle round them, sang and danced 

All the worshippers f^ted until after midday. The 
ceremony ended by breaking up the idol and eating it. 
The greatest were served first, and all men, women, and 
children were given portions to swallow. They received 
each their portion with “tears, fear, and reverence , . , 
saying that they did eat the flesh and bones of God, 
wherewith they were grieved. Such as had any sick folks 
demanded thereof for them, and carried it with great 
reverence and veneration." ‘ The body of the youth who 
imper^nated Tezeatlipoca was eaten by his cannibal 

Sir J, G. Frazer gives in The Go/dev Bou^A^ a large 

‘ J. dc Acofti, tfttiiM/ Mortt tliiiriy g/ tit lm£it, B#ok V, CfaiBCcr 14, V«iL 

PP- tHikljjrt Sfiori)', LeniUtii, liSq), 

* Spiriti «T tkr Cpini anil dI ibr WiU "), VoU U, pp. 48 « iry, Imim, ■ ji i. 

Thlt lEnCk Hock ol csrvni |>orpt1^tl^ tt now in iJif Vilionjil Muicum of Mexico. 



number of examples of the customs of eating the new 
corn and first fruits, &:c.^ in a chapter entitled Eating 
the God In some cascs^ as in Sweden, the grain of 
the last sheaf of the new harvest was used to make a loaf 
in the shape of a girl. The loaf was divided among the 
members of the household and eaten by them. In the 
Hindu Kush the new corn was roasted and steeped in 
milk. The Nandi of East Africa similarly favoured milk. 
Oil was used by other peoples. New friction fires were 
lit in different areas in connection with this ceremony. 
As we have seen, Huitztlopochtli was in one of his 
aspects a fire god, and was aJso the first to give fire to 

Paynal, or Paynalton (** Little Paynalwas a deputy 
god who acted for Hultz.ilopochtli in cases of emergency, 
or when the elder god was unable to give aid. Sahagun's 
view is that Huiuilopochtli acted as chief captain, and the 
deputy Paynal, whose name means “ swift ” or ” hurried ”, 
carried out his commands, A war god who was supposed 
to remain in a state of suspended animation for part of 
the year had need of a substitute. Apparently after the 
wandering Aztecs settled down in Mexico as the over¬ 
lords of other tribes, Huitzilopochtli became a highly 
complex deity, having absorbed the attributes of other 
gods. He, however, never displaced Tlaloc with whom 
he was closely associated. The Mexicans accounted for 
the association, by explaining that the war god stirred 
the rain god into activity^ 

In some respects Huitzilopochtli bears a resemblance 
to the Hindu god Shiva, whose cult was for a period 
highly infiuctttLal in India^ Human sacrifices were of¬ 
fered to Shiva, who was associated with the goddess Black 
Kali, the terrible, blood-thirsty avenger who wore a waist- 
belt of skulk and hands, and a long ncckkcc of skuUs^ 


while her body was smeared with blood, Shiva had like¬ 
wise a necklace of skulls. Huitailopochtli had* as Ban¬ 
croft notes, ** a band of human hearts and faces of gold 
and silver, while various bones of dead men, as well as 
a man torn in pieces, were depicted on his dress'V 

The skull oracle was known in Mexico as elsewhere. 
A Tezcatlijwca skull incrusted with mosaic is preserved 
in the British Museum. It represents Tezeatlipoca as 
a god of death, but it was apparently also a skull which 
revealed the will of the deities. The dead were able to 
foretell events as did the ghosts to Odyssfus and .£neas 
when they visited Hades. 

Accordmg to Boturini, Hultziton (*'the small hum¬ 
ming-bird who guided the Aztecs during their wandcr- 
ing period, died before the site of Mexico city was 
reached. The Mexicans, however, carried his skull and 
bones, “and the devil spoke to them”, as the Spanish 
writer put it, “ through this skull of Huitziton, often 
asking for the immolation of men and women, from 
which thing originated those bloody sacrifices practised 
afterwards by this nation with so much cruelty on 
prisoners of war, . . , This deity was called, in early as 
well as in late times, Huitzilopochtli, for the principal 
men believed that he was seated on the left hand of 

Large numbers of skulls were collected at the temple 
of Huitzilopochtli. 

The skull oracle was of considerable antiquity in Asia. 
The Semites had a custom of killing a man who was a 
firet-born son j they “wrung off his head and seasoned it 
with salt and spiccs, and wrote upon a plate of gold the 
^me of an unclean spirit (a pagan god) and worshipped 
it”. Davies tells in his HisUfty of Ma^c of the custom of 

1 Smitif V*L 111;, p. py 


making bronze heads under certain constellations; these 
gave answers, St, Thomas is said to have destroyed w 
image of this kind "because he could not endure its 
excess of prating”** 

Rain-getting ceremonies were in New Caledonia per^ 
formed before ancestnil skulls* Frazer gives instances of 
the use of skulls in Armenian and Indian rain-getting 

The altars of Hultzilopochdi reeked with human 
blood, as did those of other deities, TSaloc and his 
spouse claimed the sacrifice of many Innocent children, 
as well as the blood and hearts of men* But pre- 
Columbian America was not the only sinner in this 
respect. The Phoenicians, Greeks, Celts, and Romans, 
also sacrificed human beings. It was not until the first 
century b.c* that a Roman law was passed to forbid 
human sacrifice* In a play by the poet Ennius a 
banc^uct of human flesh is prepared. The Carthaginians 
sacrificed human beings, induding children, to their god 
Baal. Sir James Frazer gives a number of instances of 
human sacrifices among peoples who were as refined and 
highly dvllizcd as were the Mexicans, as well as among 
savages.* An early Spanish historian says of the Peruvians 
that “ they have disgusting sacrifices, * . . Every month 
they sacrifice their own children, and smear with the blood 
of the victims the faces of the idols and the doors of 
the temples^"* 

» I, l*J »*S CJI^ riitiDrt). 

* f'lmr'i. Hilt, -i 

* m r Driag Cod ififl Wf. 

* f&t^ iS 


Motives for Migrations 

Ancient Movementi Ptopla—Orrgin of Seafaring—Searcli for Prsdout 
SulHtonca—P^ychaln^'cal S|d« of Problem—^aturAl H^riiEn—Qetan 3e» 

Dang^eroui than Laod-—The Lure of Pcajli—Dhtf ibutioii of Ptad-ihell_^PcatJ 

and Shell Belid^ and Ciuiom* in Old and World]—Shell Dya in Europe, 

Aiia^ and Amenca--Ans, CuitOrtiH and Belicfi aiuclated with Pearl* and 
Shell*—^^Gold Find* in Peru—Peruvian Mining—Why Gold wai Valued and 
Scaxchetl foe—American and European Bronte—MciaEa ubcJ chiefly for 

Omvncnt* in America—No Originaliiy in American McnU ^ymboliim_ 

World-wide Search for Elixir of Life—Amcrienn Tradition*—Link* betfiten 
Pern and ]ndone*la—Gold t* Tree* and FUnr*—Gem Tm*—Sool* and God* 
as Gem I—Complex Idea* reding Gem^ Mctalt, Flnwcn^ dec, — Culture 
Mixing in America—The Greateii of all Myatcrica, 

**The movements of peoples which are sufficiently 
dramatic for the ordinary historian to record 
writes Dr. A. C. Haddoii, ** often of less linportance 
than the quiet steady drift of a population from one 
area into another, as, for example, in the emigration 
from Europe to America in modern times. . . . 
Although Immigrant peoples may bring a culture and 
language permanently alFccttng the conquered peoples, 
yet the aboriginal population, if allowed to survive in 
sufficient numbers, will eventually impair the racial purity 
of the new-comers, and there is a tendency for the 
indigenous racial type to reassert itself and become 
predominant once more.”’ The change of culture may 
or may not be found to have been accompanied by a 
change of language. ** Nothing is commoner in the 

I Xfcf ^ pjx 4^ 


history of migratory peoples”, Professor J, L. My res 
comments in this .regard, “than to find a very small 
leaven of energetic intruders ruling and organizing large 
native populations, without either learning their subjects* 
language or imposing their own till considerably later, 
if at all." ^ 

There were definite reasons for migrations in ancient 
as in modern times, and the migrations were, of course, 
controlled In a measure by geographical conditions. . It is 
necessary therefore, at the outset, when dealing with the 
migration of the carriers of a complex culture across 
Asia towards the Pacific, and across the Pacific towards 
America, to discover the motives that caused even 
energetic minorities to venture into unexplored areas, 
and to overcome the natural barriers that restricted the 
ordinary rnovements of increasing tribes in the hunting 
or pastoral stages of civilization. 

“Men did not take to maritime adventure”, as 
Professor G. Elliot Smith reminds us, “either for aimless 
pleasure or for Idle adventure. They went to sea only 
under the pressure of the strongest incentives/'* They 
must have been prompted, as Laufer argues in connection 
with the search for jade in early Europe, by motives 
“pre-existing and acting" in their minds; the impetus 
of searching for something which could be found, and 
apparently was found, in America, must have been 
received “somehow from somewhere”. They found that 
something “only because they sought it. . . . This is 
the psychological side of the historical aspect of the 

In the first chapter it has been shown that the pro- 

* Tj 4# p. 

^ Skipf ^ ^ jili ^ Cuintrv (MiAchtiUT LctidocL^ 

*9*7). FP- i-S- •yai.P'r- 


Columbian Americans who searched for and found gold 
had attached to that useless metal an arbitrary and 
religious value, and that they utilized it in precisely the 
same manner as did the progressive peoples of the Old 
World, It does not follow that they were attracted by 
gold simply because it was to be found, Laufer, writing 
regarding jade^ shows that even a useful material may be 
quite abundant in a country and yet escape the attention 
of its inhabitants. He instances iJ^e case of kaolinic clay, 
aa has been shown, and here the quotation may be given 
In foil: 

“Why did the Romans discover the Term SigllJata on the 
Rhine and in other parts of Germany unknown to the indigenous 
population f Because they were familiar with this peculiar cby 
from their Mediterratimn homes, because they prized this pottery 
highly and desired it in their new home. Let vs suppose that we 
should not possess any records relating to the history of porcelain. 
The chief substance of which it is made, kaolin, is now found in 
this country (America), Gcnnany, HolLind, France, and England, 
dl of which produce objects of porcelain 5 consequently porcelain 
is indigenous to Europe and America, because the material is 
found there. By a lucky chance of history wc know that it was 
made in neither country before the beginning of the eighteenth 
century, and that the incentive received from China was the 
stimulus to Boettger’s rediscovery in Dresden. Of course, arguing 
a prisri^ the peoples of Europe and America could have made 
porcelain ages ago; the material was at their dhows, but the 
brutal feet remafna that they did not, that they missed the 
Opportunity, and that only the importation and investigation of 
Chinese porcelain were instrumental in hunting for and findine 
kaolinic clay.” * 

Laufer then writes regarding jade : 

^'Nothing could induce me to the belief that primitive man of 
Central Europe incidentally and spontaneously embarked on the 
laborious task of quarrying and working jade. The psychological 



motive for this act must be supplied and it can be deduced only 
from the source of historical fects* . . , There is, in the lighi of 
histoned facts and experiences^ no reason to credit die prehistoric 
and early historical populations of Europe with any spontaneous 
ideas relative to jade| i^ey received these, as everything else, from 
an outside source; they gradually learned to appreciate the vdue 
of this tough and coidpacc substance, and tlien set to hunting for 
natural supplies/^ ^ 

The pre-Columbian American searched for and found 
not only goldj but Sliver^ copper, and tin. Although, 
however, iron existed and could easily have been found 
and utilized, they did not search for it, find it, or use it; 
they left it iff litUf as did the early Europeans the kaoUnic 
clay, and it was not until after the Spaniards came that 
they discovered it and worked it. 

A difficulty experienced by not a tew, regarding the 
migration of even small groups of peoples from Asia to 
America, is the great distance that had to be covered by 
the ancient mariners. The Pacific was undoubtedly a 
formidable natural barrier. It was, however, a less 
formidable one than the mountain ranges and extensive 
deserts of the Old World, and even than the more 
formidable barriers fiarmed by organized communities in 
fertile valleys, because these communities were invariably 
armed and had to be overcome in battle. On the track¬ 
less ocean nature alone, a less formidable enemy than 
man, had to be contended with. That the ocean was 
traversed by considerable numbers of seafarers in ancient 
times is demonstrated by the fact that Polynesia was 
peopled by Indonesians and others, and that even Easter 
Island was colonized. The distance from the Malay 
peninsula to Easter Island, as has been already indicated, 
is vastly greater than from Easter Island to America. 

‘ p^ i. 


lnde«d longer voyages were made by Polynesians within 
the limits of Polynesia than those which were necessary to 
cross from their islands to the New World. The Pacific 
barrier was no more formidable than was the barrier of 
the Indian Ocean, If the voyage was longer it was not 
less possible of achievement, and the wide distribution of 
islands must have enticed and encouraged ocpiorers to 
venture farther and farther to scaL Withal, having gained 
experience in making long voyages, the exploring manners 
were not likely to have been discouraged by the fact that 
their voyages were becoming of increasing length. After 
shipbuilding and navigation had been developed, a breed 
of seafarers came into existence who migrated more rapidly 
and sometimes in greater numbers than did those of theif 
fellows who inhabited the plains and river valleys of the 
great coiitineiits, V^oyages of from four hundred to seven 
hundred miles were, as has been shown, common in 
Polynesia when the early Christian missionaries began to 
settle and preach on the coral islands. No inland peoples 
could have ventured so far from home with any hope of 
ever returning again. Forests, deserts, and mountain 
ranges have restricted migrations more than have perilous 
and trackless belts of ocean. 

No American records survive, save in the vague tradi¬ 
tions about “white men " from the west, those mysterious 
“snake peoples ”, regarding the voyages made across the 
Pacific to America by ancient Asiatic mariners. It is not 
impossible, however, to supply the motives for such 
migradons as appear to have taken place. 

In the first place consideration should be given to the 
distribution of pearl-shell. It is found in the Red Sea, 
the Persian Gulf, and thence round the coasts of India, 
Burma, Siam, throughout Indonesia, Melanesia and Poly¬ 
nesia, and from Indonesia to the Philippine Islands. It is 


also found in Japan, and in the New World from Peru 
northward along the Central American coast to the norths 
western sca-coast of Mexico, round the Gulf of Mexico, 
and northward through river valleys in the United States, 
to nearly the borders of Canada. Pearls and pearl-shell 
were searched for and found by the ancient Asiatic 

It has been shown that in Mexico, as in China, 
Europe, and Ancient Egypt, ^een stones were interred 
with the dead. In Mexico, indeed, they were, as in 
China, placed in the mouths of the dead. Now pearls 
were used in precisely the same way. A Chinese first- 
century text, already referred to, says in this connection; 

“On sttiBing the mouth of the Son of Heaven with rice, they 
put lade therein; in the case of a feudal lord they introduce pearls j 
in that of a great officer, and so downwards, as also in that of 
ordinary nfflcials, cowries arc used to this end’*.’ 

In India pearls were likewise placed in the mouths of 
the dead, as Marco Polo has stated. In Japan as in India 
pearls were placed in the mouths of even the dead who 
were cremated. Pearls, pieces of Huikih shell, and rice, 
were Interred with the dead in Korea. In the New V\orld 
pearls and shells were freely used at burials. Objects 
inlaid with Haiiotis shell have been found in graves on 
the islands of Santa Catalina and Santa Cruz. W. K. 
Moorhead, who examined the Ohio mounds, found pearls 
in the mouths of the dead or on their wrists and ankles. 
Pearls were deposited with the dead in the mounds of 
Illinois. In Virginia pearls, copper, &c., were used to 
stuff mummies, G. B. Gordon, who explored ancient 
Maya tombs at Copan in Western Honduras, found 
besides polished jadeite amulets “pearls and trinkets 

^ t>i Orwli Tkt ^ VoL I, p* 177^ 



carved from shell In Yucatan and British Honduras 
Thomas Gann found pearl-shell and amulets in sepulchral 
mounds. Pearls and pearl-shell were greatly esteemed 
by the Aztecs of Mexico. According to Mrs* Zdia 
Nuttall women of the higher classes wore them as drop- 
ear-rings and pendants. ** Among the pre-Columbian 
antiquities found in Ecuador associated with burials was 
a little box or receptacle cut from Cassis shell, the cover 
of which was a fragment of the valve of the pearl oyster.” 
The Peruvians valued pearls and pearLsheU/ 

Mufex purple^ which had a religious value, vvas used 
in the New World as in the Old* It appears to have 
been first introduced In Crete as &r back as 1600 ii,c. 
On I^uke, an island off the south-east coast and at the 
ancient sea-port of Palatkastro, Professor Bosanquet dis¬ 
covered a bank of crushed mures shell associated with 
Kaniares pottery." The Phoenicians of Tyre and Sidon 
adopted the industry and **Tyrian purple” became 
famous. Other dyeing centres were established. The 
purple of Laconia in the Gulf of Corinth was greatly 
esteemed* Purple-yielding shells were searched for far 
and wide and in the western Mediterranean. Tarentum, 
the modern Otranto, became an important dyeing town. 
Bede, **the father of English history”, tells that on the 
British coasts were found, not only mussels which yielded 
pearls of all colours, including red, purple, violet, green, 
and white, but also cockles, “ of which the scarlet dye is 

^ K.i|ru Jldj ^ Fcilklorc Prccicui StOD^ ^ 

if Cbic3i|f}^ 1894, pp. 155-25^ §10 W+ K. 

Ntfw YmI^ 1500, p. 37^. O, B, CorJan^ “TTiff 
Mjrtcrinui Citp of in JAm Val. IV^ p. 4.17- W. H. 

flolmtif “Alt 1JS SheUi of %h£ AnciEnl Ammani'' m jimujil f j4# 

Wu^ip|tofi^ ■nd gtfacTl <{U0tMl J. Wiirrii Jick^cit ill 

SMiUm Mi EviJmfe if ^ Earfy Cih/jwK^ Lciadan >qd Mincknlcr, 1^17# 

ppF £9-^ la^ 11:4 rf irft Mil ±04. 

* Rr Cr BcMiTii^uct^ EtittiM Auttci^tk* 1 S17, 


made: a most beautiful colour which never fades with the 
heat of the sun or the washing of the rain, but the older 
it is the more beautiful it becomes"/ Purpura mounds" 
have been discovered in Ireland. A large number of 
purple-yielding shells, which had all been broken, from 
a Caithness broth were exhibited at the meeting of the 
British Association in Edinburgh in 1921. "Kitchen 
middens" in Cornwall and elsewhere have likewise 
yielded traces of the ancient industry. The Phoenicians 
are believed to have obtained from the British Isles a dark 
shade of shell purple called " black purple 

Shells yielding purple were searched for and found 
and used, as far east as China and Japan, An interesting 
fact about the shells discovered in the mounds of Omori, 
Japan, is that many of them had a portion of the body- 
whorl broken away "as if for the purpose of more con¬ 
veniently extracting the animal",* The Caithness broch 
shells were broken in like manner. 

Traces of the purple industry have been found, as 
has been said. In the New World. Mrs. Zelia Nuttall 
has published a paper entitled " A Curious Survival in 
Mexico of the use of the Purpura Shell-fish for Dyeing"/ 
She shows that in the Nuttaii Codex there arc “ pictures 
of no fewer than thirteen women of rank wearing purple 
skirts, and five with capes and jackets of the same colour. 
In addition, forty-six chieftains arc figured with short, 
fringed, rounded purple waist-cloths, and there are also 
three examples of the use of a close-fitting purple cap.” 
Some priests and other personages have faces painted 
purple. The Romans used purple for staining cheeks 

^ sf Hhifify tht iSTOi It^ p, is 7. 

* Prafifii^r E. 5 . Martc, ik* ^ 1^ 

VbL 1, Part r* Nts, 1^34, 1S7S. 

* ji^Tk'driMrj ff- 



and lips. Mrs* Nuttall points out that ”the shade of the 
purple paint is identical with that of the purpura dj?e”. 
Broken purpura shells have been taken from Inca graves in 
North Chile, and broken purple-yielding shells from North 
American “kitchen middens”. Mr* J. Wilfrid Jackson, 
who has collected much important evidence regarding 
shells and the religious uses to which they were put in 
ancient times, writes as follows regarding the New World 

*^This purple industry is closely associated, botli in the Old and 
in [he New World, whh the appreciation of pearls and the use of 
I he artificially devised cojich-sheli trumpet. Each of these cukural 
elemeols had their origin in the Eastern Mediterranean stations 
for the purple industry ... and were established by the car!y 
Mediterranean mariners in several places in the Old World. In 
addition we find that an intimate relationship existed between this 
art and skill in weaving, as well as the minings working, and 
tra^cking in metals, such as gold, silver, and copper. In ihe 
New World the purple industry is associated with similar pur¬ 

Mrs. Nuttalfs view in this connection is of special 
interest “It seems”, she writes, “almost easier to 
believe that certain elements of an ancient European 
culture were at one time, and perhaps once only, actually 
transmitted by the traditional small band of . . * Medi¬ 
terranean seafirers, than to explain how, under totally 
different conditions of race and climate, the identical ideas 
and customs should have arisen ”. Professor G. Elliot 
Smith writes regarding the murex industry: 

it be argued that purple was invented independently in the 
New World, it must be remembered that the method of its produc¬ 
tion is a complex and difficult process, which in itself is sufficient 

' dd f MigfMIiiiti Cktlift a.Qd LoDdM, 

♦9»7)i P- *7- 


to raise » doubi as to the likelUiood of such a discovery being 
made more than once 

He shows that the same people who settled in Isolated 
spots “ to work the gold and copper, and incidentally to 
erect mcgalithic tombs and temples, were also searching 
for pearls and making use of shell trumpets , and adds. 

«There arc reasems for believing that all these special uses of 
shells were spread abroad along with the complex miaiure of arts, 
customs and beliefs associated with the building of mcgalithic 

monuments. . 

“ The earliest use of the conch^hell tnimpct was m the Mi noon 
worship in Crete. Thence it spread far and wide, until it came 
to play a part in the religious services, Christian and Jewish, Israh- 
man and Buddhist, Shinto and Shamanistic, in widely diacrent 
parts of the world—in the Mediterranean, in India, in Central 
Asia, in Indonesia and Japan, In Oceania and America, In 
many of these places it was supposed to have the definite riTual 
object of summoiiing die deity. , . , Ltice the cowry n was used 
in marriage and funeral ceremonies, in connection with Iwrvefit 
rites and circumcision,^ in the ritual of initiation into secret 
societies, in the ceremonials before sacred images, in the rites of 
drinking (such as soma-worship and kava) and of head hunting. 
It was also used in India as the (ecepiade for libations which . . . 
was one of the essential ritual procedures for animating the dead, 
and in couiseof time for performing the same devotional act for 
the deity. Thus it was intimately interwoven into the very 
texture of the remarkable culture complex of which these practices 
represent a few of the ingredients," 

Professor Elliot Smith goes on to say that *'in attempt¬ 
ing to form some conception of the mode of the easterly 
spread of these cultural developments which ori^nated in 
the Eastern Meditcrnincatj and the Red Sea, it is impor- 


r CrcHinCiiiaii «i pnttiiH to pK^Cotujptiin Amerio. Thii fite orifiis«i*4 to 
Egypt in pEt'DyiaMtlc tiiD» 




tint to remember that it was the pearl fishers themselves 
who pbyed the chief part in the Wanderings”." 

The importance attached to murex purple cannot be 
accounted for on other than religious grounds. Before 
the purple attracted attention in the Old World, the shell 
Itself, it must be noted, had acquired a religious ^ue. 

In Egypt and elsewhere it had been connected with the 
mother-goddess—the virgin who gave origin to all life 
and fed her children, especially with milk. She was, as 
has been shown, the cow-mother in Egypt, the sow- 
mother in Troy, Crete, and Greece, the wolf-mother 
in Rome, the tiger-mother in China, and the bear-mother 
in north-eastern Asia and in north-western America, As 
has been brought out in the chapter dealing with the 
Mexiem goddess Mapud, she Wiis corrected with 
milk-yielding " plants and trees, ^ ^ 

In Japan, India, and elsewhere, the milk-elixir was 
obtained not only from the plants and trees of the 
goddess but from her shells. In the Japanese saerrf 
book, the the slain god Ohonamochl is brought 

back to life by an elixir prepared by burning and gnn^ng 
cocklcshdl and mixing the powder with water. The 
mixture is called “mothers’ milk” or “nurses milk - 
A similar “elixir” is sriU prepared in the Scottish High¬ 
lands for we.akly children. 

It was first discovered in ancient Crete tha^t t e 
murex-shell fish secreted a fluid in a sae or vein. “The 
matter”, says Rawlinson, “is a liquid of a creamy con¬ 
sistency, and, while in the wr or vein, is of a yellowish 

I ]0.r»luct;«n to T«llW. Sktih « t/EMrfy s« 

Eiiioi s«L[h, SJii>. -1 ./ lilt Mir-""" 

UBdois .->17. 'S'S- ^ 

ti, GtiurtfUcjI Dhtriii^ ifUTfgftiiiic i* Mintttiter, *9.5, 

vid Tkt MfiJfSiikie Cttitwrf ^ Umdon *iwl Minctifeit«p 

■ Serf laj -"i “Jadef OJnirfWflflt* 



white colour; on c^ctraction, however, and exposure to 
the lightj it becomes first greenj and then purple, , * , 
The season for coUecting the purple dye was the end 
of winter, or the very beginning of spring, just before the 
molluscs would naturally have set to work to lay their 

Apparently the ancients were greatly impressed by 
the fiict that a shell-fish yielded a milky fluid during the 
very season in which the fig-tree exuded its **milk*'^— 
that is, in the spring when the mother goddess, having 
given birth to her **children^’ in the world of vegetation, 
provided as nourishment for them the which 

flowed from the Milky Way'" and appeared in rivers 
as foam and as yellowish or whitish mud and also exuded 
from various plants and trees. 

It was found that the shell-fish **milk'^, after being 
exposed to the light, first turned green, and then, although 
Rawlinson does not mention the fact, assumed a bluish 
tint before it finally became a fixed purple-red. 

The doctrines of colour symbolism had already been 
well established* According to these the attributes of a 
deity, and the properties and influences of all substances 
connected with deities, were revealed by colours. The 
colours were in themselves operating influences. Im¬ 
portance was therefore attached to the revelation made by 
shclUfish milk which assuimed various colours. 

It has been suggested by Besnier that shell-purple, 
which “was considered a noble and sacred colour by the 
ancients and emblematic of the power of the gods", was 
esteemed because it resembled ^*thc colour of blood, the 
principle of life".* The writcr*^s fuller explanation Is 
that purple-red was, in the first place, given a religious 

^ G. RjLwIiaHifl^ PA**ieM (‘"Tlic Sl«i7 sf ihc Nilioni ^ Sctict), pp. 

* Qniiud "bf JadtiAQ ia si Evidtnti rf tki ^ P^-t. 



value because It waa produced bjr the shell-flsh form of 
the goddess, and, in the second place, because it was 
regarded as her milk. The colours of the fluid suggested 
to the ancients that this “milk” from the shell ultimately 
assumed the properties of life-blood. The “milk” of 
the deity ** made " blood. 

In Ancient Egypt the riddle of life was read in the 
Nile which, as it rose in flood, turned green, red, yel¬ 
lowish, and blue. The fluid from the murex-shell 
similarly revealed by Us sequence of colours the various 
attributes of the deity who had had her origin in water, 
was connected with shells, plants, and trees, and was the 
source of blood-making milk. Her trees, which yielded 
“milk", also yielded “bloodas sap; her shell, it was 
discovered, displayed similar properties. The sanctity of 
shell-purple thus appears to have had its origin in the 
idea of a milk-yielding goddess who was connected with 
life-giving water, the sky, and the heavenly bodies, and 
whose “milk** nourished vegetation and human beings 
and produced sap and blood and flesh. 

In America, as has been shown in the Mayauel 
chapter, the cult of the milk-yielding goddess was well 
established. The Zuni Indians, like the Mexicans, were 
fully acquainted with the complex ideas connected with 
the ancient Old-World conception of the nourishing All¬ 
mother whose milk and blood and flesh were in all 
vegetation. This fact is brought out clearly in the 
following extract from the Zuni creation myth: 

“Corn shall be the giver of milt to the youthhil and of flesh 
to the aged, as our women folk are the givers of life to our youth 
and the sustainers of life in our age; for of the mother-milk of the 
Beloved Maidens is it filled, and of their flesh the substance 

1 CiUllib|t+ .SrIMir Cp/JflM Sn ktpirt ^ Esy*tM if 

1S91-I, ^ 397- 


Nothing could be dearer and more emphatic. The milk 
of the mother^ or group of mothers, was to the Zuni 
Indians, as to the Hindus, Greeks, Egyptians, and others, 
the life-fluid which sustained human beings and, indeed, 
all living creatures. As we have seen, Mayauel gave 
milk even to fish as the Egyptian Neith gave hers to 

The rain-god Tlaloc, who provided the life-fluid, 
including ^*milk"^, in the form of rain, is shown shut in 
his shell (Ca/ex Bchgna^ B), and in one illustration (Cudex 
Faticafius^ No. 3773) the particular shdl that endoses the 
deity IS the Murex Truxtuhs. A conch-shell with the 
apex replaced by a snake^s head—the serpent-dragon form 
of the rain-god—is found in F^iicanus B ( 66 ). In 
the Dmdfx MS. 38, 6, a Maya deity is seen emerging 
from a shell. The Mexican moon-god similarly emerged 
from a shell. 

The shell form of the mother was worn by women in 
the Old as in the New World to assist birth aa well as to 
give protection* This fret is brought out dearly In the 
explanation of Plate KXVl of the C<?J^x Faikaxus translated 
in Kingsborough's 0/ Mexk$ (Vol* VI, p. ^03): 

“They believed the moon pr^tded over human genemtion, 
and accordingly they always put k by the sign of the sun. They 
placed on its head a sea-snail to denote that an ihe same way as 
this marine animal creeps froin its integument or shell, so man 
comes from his mother's womb/" 

The interpreter of Codex TelkriaH^Remenm (Plate XI, 
Kingsborough, ^/* c//., p- lit) states that Mcxitli was 
otherwise called Tectziitecatl 

“because in the same way that a snail creeps from a shell so 
man proceeds from his mother's womb. They placed the moon 
opposite to the sun because Its course condnuaEly cresses his; and 
they believed iC to be the cause of human generation.'^ 



The goddess of the shell was in the Old World 
associated with the moon as well as with the starry sky. 
It is incredible that the same arbitrary connections should 
have had spontaneous origin in the New World. Com¬ 
plexes which have a history in the Old World cannot 
possibly have '^‘cropped up” by accident in the New 
World. It was surdy something more than a coin¬ 
cidence ” that the pre-Columbian Americans connected 
shells, shell-purple, pearls, precious stones, and precious 
metals with their deities just as did the progressive 
peoples of the Old World. The doctrines regarding 
“ shell-milk ”, river-milk ”, and vegetation “ milk ” 
arose in Egypt where the domesticated cow was con¬ 
nected with the sycamore fig tree and with shells. How 
came it about that the same doctrines were promoted in 
Mexico? They could not have originated there among 
a people who did not have domesticated animals; they 
must have been imported with much else because they 
are fundamental doctrines—the very “ sap" of the mytho¬ 
logical tree. 

The connection between metal working and pearl 
gathering, as between beliefs associated with metals and 
pearls, obtained in pre-Columbian times in both South 
and North America. In 1920 the American Museum 
obtained twelve gold objects of ancient Peruvian manu¬ 
facture, found by treasure seekers in Peru, that had been 
offered for sale in New York. These had originally been 
worn as ornaments of religious value, or were used for 
religious purposes, and included breastplates, discs, and 
small water jars with combined handle and spout. 

*‘The material of which these objects are composed is an alloy 
of gold, silver and copper, varying somewhat in proportions but 
averaging about 60 per cent gold, from 20 to 30 per cent »lver, 
and from 6 to 20 per cent copper. One of the breastplates with 


alternating !^<b of tight and dark meiaJ gave inierestmg results 
upon analy^ The yellower metal was 8o per cent gold, 13 per 
cent silver, and 7 per cent copper, while the lighter hands were 
47 per cent gold, 44 per cent silver, and E| per cent copper. 
Such alloys arc fairly hard and cannot be beaten wiiK the same 
case as purer gold. It appears that these objects were first cast in 
a prepared mould and then finished by hammering, and perhaps 
re-touched with an engraving tool." 

These finds alone aflbrd sufficient evidence to show 
that the Peruvians were highly skilled and experienced 
in the sciences of mining and metallurgy. There is no 
recorded evidence, however, to indicate how or why the 
pre-Columbian Americans began to collect and utilize this 
precious metal or, indeed, any other metals. From the 
outset they appear to have scarehed for metals as the early 
Europeans searched for jade*—that is, not ** incidentally 
and spontaneously”, but because of an influence operating 
from “an outside source”, which directed their attention 
to metaU, and at the same time provided the necessary 
instruction how to obtain them, “Their mining”, says 
one writer, dealing with the Mexicans, “was doubtless 
carried on by the firc-and-water process used by the 
northern people, while gold from the river beds was 
possibly obtained in much the same manner as I have 
been told the Amerinds of Peru get it- Selecting a river 
that was known to be rich in the metal, a series of stone 
‘riffles’ would be arranged in the best place at the very 
lowest stage of the water. Then when the freshets came 
and swept the gravel across these rude affairs the gold 
would remain lodged there, and on subsidence of the 
stream could be readily taken out”.* 

1 Hitarj {JFQMwmfi ^ dtf Nsnrgl Nc* 

ScpiPmtfr-OrtobciT, igjt^ XKI, 5)1 

^ F. L, DfEtctabiu^ TAt NtriA Amiram tf TnirrtiMf INiew Y dfk tad Ldodoov 

1901), p. 194 


“Rude" as the riffles may have been, they betoken 
an advanced skill and knowledge in the collection of gold, 
and this is further made manifest by the statement that 
the river selected “was known" to be a gold-yielding one. 

In an interesting article on “Prehistoric Mining in 
Western South America", Mr- Charles W, Mead writesi^ 

«Many of ihc quartz, lodes of gold-beartng ores were formerly 
worked by the Iticas or their predecessor, as the remains of their 
old workings show. These excavations arc often of considerable 
extent, but do not go below the oxidized zone. Finds in these 
works show how the gold was extracted. The crushing was 
done on a large, hollowcif-out block of granite with a heavy 
rocking stone, three or four Icet in diameter,* To operate this 
rocking stone required the Labour of more than one man. The 
present Indians make use of such a prehistotic ‘stamp’ whenever 
they find one. The early historians tell us tliai in the dry season 
the Indians covered a part of the beds of streams with stones to 
arrest the particles of gold hrooght down by floods during the 
rainy season. On the return of the dry season the grave! hcEweeii 
these stones was washed or panned and the gold obtained. Before ■ 
the coming of pizarro the Peruvians had reached a very high 
degree of skill in working gold,” 

Mr. Mead does not deal with the question as to how 
the Peruvians first came to display much interest in so 
useless a metal as gold. The problem, however, is touched 
upon by Mr. Pliny Gtxldard in the same publication.* 
He shows that the Peruvians had reached a high stage 
of civilization ; they cultivated “maize, beans, squash, 
pumpkins, the potato, cassava, cotton and many other 
plants"; had irrigation systems “requiring great industry 

^ VoL XXIj Ko* ^ pp. +51 i#ji. {Kkw Yoffc, 19.11]. 

^ TTif people ■of Lui<m Iii Jndfgikcuj CTUibcj art bj niciiki of itout rodi in 
cortipn 1.^1^ rcccplftcici firtnlj in ihi! W, J. Tiw Mt£a!irAk 

CuitKrf pp. iji-t. 

Cold tiic CLlclch ia VoL XXlf 

No. it p- 449 . 



So crmcnt wji ahril in )lir nmuncctinn t>i che*? wjUnin wonWnUj cuct wji ihe 
rruiDn-Hork ihe muilT^ bl«ki &f ihrf wit *ninpot«i- 




and considerable engitieering skill”; had many of the 
arts highly developed wonderful skill as architects and 
builders in stone, while they made pottery beautifully 
decorated, and were excdlcnt weavers and dyers. He 

“It is not surprising, thci», that che people in this particulw 
region had made considerable progress in working wiih 
Gold seems 10 have been generally common tn the sands of the 
coastwise streams. Its sparkle undoubtedly attracted the eye of 
the people, and, when it was found to be easily malleable, ns^se 
in the arts was appreciated. U may be that copper was also fiftt 
found in a pure state. By the time the Spaitiards entered ihf 
region, however, considerable progress had been made in taking 
silver and copper ore out of die rock of the mountains and 
reducing the metals by means of blast fiirtiaces. 

Mr. Goddard thus assumes that from the outset gold 
appealed to the icsthctic sense of the ancient Peruvians, 
and he appears to consider that this view Is strengthened 
by the fact that it was used for ornaments. It is difficult 
to believe, however, that men and women pierced their 
cars, noses, and lips to disfigure their faces with even 
exquisitely-worked jewels in response to u dormant or 
cultivated esthetic sense. The fact that they were 
attracted by bright colours in gcnis, or that they pro¬ 
duced beautiful dyes, does not add weight to such a 
hypothesis^ for^ as has been show it, gems possessed a 
religious value, and colours symbolized ideas, and were 
in themselves supposed to radiate influences. Gold, like 
the eAakhiuHl, was a depository of life subsunce. As wc 
have seen, it possessed the same arbitrary value to the 
Mexicans, and to less highly civilized Americans, includ¬ 
ing, it may here be added, the Isthmians. “According to 
Peter Martyr”, writes Bancroft, “the embalmed and be¬ 
jewelled bodies of ancestors were worshipped in Conwgr^ 


and in Vcragua gold was Invested with divine qualities, 
so that the gathering of it was attended with fasting 
and penance.” ^ 

In dealing with the origin of gold working in America, 
consideration must be given to the religious as weiJ as to 
the aesthetic use of gold and other metals. How came tt 
about that in the New as in the Old World predseljr the 
same belief were attached to gold, and that it was collected 
and utilized in precisely the same way? The blast furnaces 
Were similar to those used from Japan to India and from 
India to Britain and in Ancient Egypt. These have been 
fully dealt with by Professor Gowknd,* The Egyptian 
blow-pipe was also used in America. 

In addition to gold, the Peruvians worked silver, the 
mines of Porco being one of the chief sources of supply. 
They also used copper and they manufactured bronze. 
“Analysis of 171 objects of copper and bronze, in the 
American Museum’s collection, found in ancient Peruvian 
graves, shows”, writes Mr. C. W. Mead, the assistant 
curator of Peruvian archasology, “ that the bronze pieces 
average between 6 and 7 per cent of tin.” This is less 
than the European average, which is 10 per cent, but 
as low proportions of tin as 1-07, 2-78, 4'5(S, 5*09, 5‘l J, 
and 7*^9 have been found in ancient British and Irish 
bronzes.* The proportion of tin used depended, no 
doubt, on the skill possessed by individual craftsmen, 
the uses to which bronze artifacts were to be put, and 
the quality of the copper, for some coppers are softer 
than others. 

Of more importance than the proportion of tin used 

' T*e Suea, V«|. Itl, p. 50a. 

K f in Hmcltr Mnnafill I.«rturc in Tkt Jianti sf Hu 

AnAftfchptttl t<aHe,tt,yv\. XLIl. p, 244, 

* iJfi D'.riil-eI Wiliqnp P*ihiifaric 



by the Pcruviitns in manufiicturing bronze is the remark¬ 
able fact that they used it at all. “ No vessels or other 
objects made entirely of tin”, writes Mr. Mead, “have 
been found in the ancient graves.** If the Americans 
had been originators and not copyists, they would surely 
have displayed some □nginaiity in this connection. 

“The Amerinds", Mr. Frederick L. DeUenbaugh 
reminds us, “ were practically all in the so-called Stone 
Age of culture j that is, they were unacquainted with the 
(ommon ase of metals. Some tribes worked silver, gold, 
and copper to a limited extent and jij an ornamental way/’^ 
Weapons and implements of flint, which was chipped, of 
obsidian, and of stone were exceedingly common. The 
old Egyptian throwing stick" was used by some tribes. 
Metals, however, were mainly used for religious purposes, 
that is, to protect and animate the living and the dead; 
they were accumulated, as has been shown in the first 
chapter, because they possessed “merit", and they were 
oflered with gems to the deities. 

The earliest trace of this habit of offering life-giving 
and life-sustaining metals to gods and the dead is found 
in Ancient Egypt, In a Solar-Osirian chapter of the 
Sooi if the 'Dead the soul of the dead Pharaoh who is 
being initiated into the mysteries of the Otherworld is 

“Brought to tJh« are blocks of silver and [masses] of mshchtte. 
Hathor, mistress of Brblos, she makes the rudders of thy ship. , ., 
It is said to thee ‘Come into the broad-hall*, by the Great who 
arc in the temple. Bared to thee arc the Four Fillars of the Sky, 
thou scest the secrets that are herein, thou stretclust out thy two 
legs upon the Pillars of the Sky and the wind is sweet to thy 

' TAr StrA jftofrwdn TfttfrJjjf (LoRilatt artil Yorkh 1901, p, 348, 
* Bmilcil, Riligm tnd Tihiif j; ix kxtim p, 179. 


No trace of originality in the matter of metal sym¬ 
bolism, or in that of colour symbolism, is to be discovered 
in the New World which, indeed, appears merely ”as an 
appendix to AsiaTo quote from Laufer once again, 
“Originality is certainly the rarest thing in the world, 
and in the history of mankind the original thoughts are 
appallingly sparse As he hnds it impossible to credit 
the early Europeans with “any spontaneous ideas relative 
to jade , so does the writer find it impossible, especially 
in view of the evidence dealt with in the foregoing 
chapters, to credit the pre-Columbian Americans with 
“any spontaneous ideas” relative to precious metals, 
pearls, pearl-shell, precious stones, jade or jadeite, and 
herbs and milk-yielding plants. All these things were 
searched for in the New World as in the Old and for 
the same reasons, and these are set forth by Professor 
Elliot Smith, who writes; 

“ In delving inio the remoidy distant history gf our species we 
cannot fail tg be impressed with the persistence witli which, 
throughout the whole of his career, man (of the species iapJfia) has 
been seeting for an elixir of life, to give added ‘ vitality * to the 
dead (whose existence was not consciously regarded as ended), to 
prolong the rlays of active life to the living, to restore youth, and 
to protect his own life* front all assaults, not merely of time, but 
also of rircumstancc. In other words, the elixir he sought was 
something that would bring ^good luck* in all the events of his 
life and its con tin nation. Most of the amulets, even of modern 
Itmc^ the lucky trinkets, the averters of the <Evil Eye', the 
practices and devices for securing good luck in love and sport, in 
curing bodily ills, in mental distress, in attaining materia] prosperity, 
or a continuation of existence after death, are survivals gf this 
ancient and persistent striving after those objects which our earliest 
forefathers called collectively the * givets of life* 

The pearl and coral were called mar^an (life-glver) by 

^ Tii f^Ml p. 


Persians and Arabians, and gold likewise ensured Immor¬ 
tality, as Hindu and Chinese texts state clearly: 

^^The geld, of bea.uti!Ous colour of the sun^ chat men of old 
with their progeny sought—chat, shining^ shall unite thee with 
splendour; of long life becomes he that weai^ it”.* 

De Groot quotes texts to show that in China the 
ancient peoples “were fully imbued with the belief that 
jade and gold could prolong life by strengthening the 
vital energy, and thus protecting the body against decay. 
Both minerals have indeed for a long series of ages held 
a prominent place in alchemy, or the great art of prepar¬ 
ing the elixir of life and the philosophers^ stone. * . - 
The same reasons why gold and jade were used for stuffing 
the mouth of the dead hold go^ for the use of pearls/' * 

Sahaguii® tells, as has been stated, that the ancestors 
of the Nahua crossed the ocean and moved southward in 
America searching for the earthly paradise. According 
to Torquemada the strangers were silversmiths and gold¬ 
smiths and accomplished artisans, and collected and worked 
precious stones. As has been shown in the chapter 
devoted to Quetza]ctxitl, they introduced religious beliefs 
and practices of distinctive character from the Old 
World. Dragon and ti 5 ga myths were imported among 
other things, as is shown in the Tlaloc chapter. The Maya 
god B was undoubtedly of Indian origin and connected 
with the elephant-headed god Ganesha and the god Indra^ 
as has been shown. 

In Peru the searchers for sacred gold practised irriga¬ 
tion. The searchers for sacred gold in Indonesia did 
likewise, connecting gold with the chiefs and the sky- 

^ Whktncy^ Atkarxm XIX^ f. ^^7 (Cunbndp, 190 

* SAigii^Mi Spam ^VeL 1, jpp, 

* QiaqM ^ BruiCLif 4t Boitfboqjft Tm* tPjiris iS^l)* PP- ttdt, 


world, just as it was connected with the Incas, “the 
children of the sun " and the sky-world in Peru** 

In the New World as in the Old it was believed that 
gold grew like a tree and that it was, indeed, a tree, just 
as coral was to the Chinese and others a sea-tree form of 
the mother goddess.* A Moorish author, quoted by 
Chenier, writes as follows regarding Paradiset 

“ Adam, after having eaten the forbidden fruit, sought to hide 
himself under the shade of the trees that form the bowers pf 
Paradise: the Gold and Silver trees refused their shade to the 
father of the human race. God asked them, why they did so? 
‘ Because , replied the Trees, ‘Adam has transgricssed against your 
commandment‘Ye have dnne wellanswered the Creator; 
‘and that your fidelity may be rewarded, ’tis my decree that men 
shall hereafter become your slaves, and that in search of you they 
shall dig into the very bowels of the earth 

Peter Martyr wrote regarding American “gold trees 

‘^Thcy have found by experience, that the vein of gpld is 
a living tree, and that the same by all ways that it spreadeth and 
fringe th from the root by the soft pores and passages of the earth, 
putteth forth branches, even unto the uppermost parts of the 
earth, and ceaseth not until it discover itself unto the open air: at 
which time it showeth forth certain beautifid colours in the ^ tra d 
of Howets, round stones of golden eartli in the stead of fruits, and 
thin plates instead of leaves. They say that the mot of the golden 
tree extendeth to the centre of the earth, and there talceth nourish¬ 
ment of increase; for the deeper that they dig, they find the trunks 
thereof to be of so much the greater, as far as they may follow it, 
for abundance of water springing in the mountains. Of the 
branches of this tree, they find some as small as a thread, and 
others as big as a man's finger, according to the largeness or straight¬ 
ness of the rifts and clefts* They have sometimes chanced upon 

* W. J. Prtry, MfgiluMf Ctlmrt iw IwJmiitf pp. 13 j, 

* LjuFit', Sm-tniKlct, p, j 1+, uatr S. The cent trw en Uit tntil iilinJ Ukri t|iE 

jJj" ‘ 1 ** ^^mopc ti« gflifc an [hr iilud of the CcinLiil Ppiwliic. 

Thi* nte »*, « tern gf the nHitheT piddcu HeCher. 


whole oavcSs sustained or borne up as it were with golden pillars^ 
and this in the wajs by which the brunches ascendj the which 
being filled with the substance of the crunle creeping from beneath, 
the branch maketh itself way by which it may pass out» It is 
oftendmos divided, by encountering with some kind of hard stone, 
yet is it in other clefts nourished by the exIiaLations and virtue of 
the foot.^" 

Herrera wrote in similar strain: 

^Metals are like plants hidden in the bowels of the earth, 
with their trunk and ^ugbs, which arc the veins; for it appears 
in a certain manner, that like plants they go on growring, aoi 
because they have any inward life, but because they^art produced 
in the cntniiU of the earth by the virtue of the sun and of the 
plants; and so they go on Increasing, And ^ metals arc thus, as 
ii were, plants hidden in the earth; so plants are animals fixed to 
one place, sustained by the aliment whi^ Nature has provided for 
them at their birth. And to animals, as they have a more perfect 
being, a sense and knowledge hath been given to go about and 
seek their aliment. . , , Barren earth is the support of metal, and 
fertile earth of plants, and plants of animals: the less perfect serv¬ 
ing the more perfect/" 

Paradise had Its gem trees, as has been shown, in 
Buddhist literature, and these were guarded by dragons* 
Such trees were, however, much older than Buddhism. 
In the Babylonian epic of Gilgamesh a wonderful tree 
grows in the seashore ParadiBe of the We^t. 

Precious stones it bore as Fhitt, 

Branches hung from it which were beautiful to behold. 

The top of the tree was hfih 

And it was laden with fruit which daazlcd the eye of him 
that beheld/ 

In India plants and shells and flowers and precious 
stones were connected as symbols of the deities whose 
influences radiated from them, because the divine **life 

* iU£i£sa^ p* 1S7, 



substance" was contained in them. Thus at certain, cere¬ 
monies “the Dhdtri flower, the Silagrim stone, the 
various kinds of Sdlagrimas, the conch shell, the Tulasi 
plant, various perfumes, as sandal, agoUochum, and dif- 
ferent fragrant flowers . . . are dedicated to Vishnu and 
are to be worshipped or offered in worship 

Of as much importance in India as fasting, silent 
prayer and drinking holy water, was “ wearing necklaces 
and chaplets of the woods and seeds of the Tulasi ” by the 
worshippers of Vishnu. Offerings included “flowers, 
fruits, cakes, vessels, gems, gold, &c. 

Souls might assume animal, plant, or gem forms, 
Tonquemada (Book VI, Chapter 47) tells that “the 
Tlascallans believed that the souls of chiefs and princes 
became clouds, or beautiful birds, or precious stones; 
whereas those of the common people would pass into 
beetles, rats, mice, weasels, and all vile and stinking 
animals ”, The precious stone, like the transparent gem 
in the Votan cave, might contain the deity, as in Japan the 
spirit of the deity might inhabit the tama (pearl). Accord¬ 
ing to Hebrew belief Noah’s ark was lit by a gem, because 
day and night ceased during the flood. “The universal 
spirit, fixed in a transparent body, shines like the sun In 
glory”, a commentator has written, “and this was the 
light which God commanded Noah to make.” 

The arbitrary association of gems, metals, plants, &c., 
with the heavenly bodies and the source of life was 
productive of myths and beliefs that became widely 
prevalent, and can be detected In the religious symbolism 
and religious texts and in the folk-lores of different 
peoples and different lands. Pearls and precious stones 
had in the myths nocturnal luminosity because they were 
identified with the stars, the moon, or the sun, and with 

^ WttNE)-, fiJ^ M Sawilrit UirfttMwr^ VoL p. 66. ^ 73:1 E>Q4- 



the deities of which they were manifestations. They 
were also connected with plants, and the light of the 
jewel was regarded as a manifestation of life substance, 
which in the plant revealed Itself hy colours and existed 
as sap and the fire obtained by friction. The sap was 
regarded as identical with life blood^ and with the fertiliz¬ 
ing water which fell from the sky as rain, bubbled up 
from the earth forming a sacred well, or came down from 
the mountains as a river. Foam and fogs were likewise 
forms assumed by the “life substance" deposited in gems, 
in plants, and m animal, insect, and reptile life. It was 
because iire and heat were identified with colours, with 
sunlight, moonlight, starlight, and lightning, that the 
Mexicans, like the Gaclic-spcaking Scots, regarded the 
butterfly as an insect form assumed by fire, and symbolized 
the 6ame produced by friction of fire-sticks as a red 
butterfly. As we have seen, the butterfly might be a 
god or a human soul. It was a manifestation of the 
principle of life, as was also the green pebble or pearl 
placed in the mouth of the dead and regarded as a 
substitute for the heart, the seat of life. Birds that 
nested in trees or fed on honey, the vital essence of 
flowers—forms assumed by the “fire of life”—were 
connected with the sacred plants and the deity of plants, 
and their highly coloured feathers were as sacred as gems, 
because they were supposed to be Impregnated with life 
substance". Feathers were worn by Mexican devotees for 
the same reason as were flowers, shells, and jewels. In 

^ Kjapboreugb prvTi4£i Antfricin rTidcnec in ihh c^pncction whitb 

liidlir tQ Old-WorlJ In bEi triBiIttiwi af tbc ciplMutiQn of the 

pdisiEofi ftf tbe Cadtx tf Vnl. VI, 1*1 Htf XLVfp 

;p^ 3Ti] hx Jnti 'riHtb ihjt Roh Tr« cilicil acidi ■^Thc^r painted iTw diilillinr It wi* t Cm n osb?r imi wrfe 

^icliliiag CrKi^^t wni a* lbc wii i **Tnilli flinl % lh« beiqf puti|i3Ei 

Bloifhl WH driwn itvm ibc tui hnn ihawR^ hltlk^ hlowL, wilcr, upp 

iKlf ■nil: IbsaEjr wicF« i,U li^nkdi impirr|njL{|!4 ia itb Ulir lukLuK **, 

(H Hi 1 2£ 



Polynesia a log of wood into which feathers were stuck 
was regarded as the god Ore. Bunches of feathers were 
in America badges'^ of deities, whose attributes and 
moods they revealed by their colours. It was itot merely 
because gr^en and blue jewels su^ested water and vegeta¬ 
tion that they were sacred; like water they were supposed 
to contain “life substance^*. 

Seler, discussing the forms and synibols of the goddess 
Chalchiuhttkue as revealed by iltustradons in the CodiceSj 
shows that she sometimes wears flowers, or feathers, or 
coloured symbols, as substitutes for one another or for 
jewels, and that jewels, feathers, and flowers may symbolic 
water or blood. The following extract is of importance 
in this connection: 

a Symbol of the dement, of which Chalchiuhtlique is the 
image and embodiixicnt, we see beside the C&dtx Baryta figure 
(fig. 429) a jewel from within which a stream of 

water gushes forth. But here this stream of water is not set at 
the ends in the usual way with round or longish white snail- 
shells, but with yellow cakkd-Yiltt objects which, as we know, 
denote ordure:, din, filth» and metaphorically ^sin\ This means 
that here this iha/cfiiuhat/^ or ‘jewel water is again conceived^ 
not as the moisture that fertilises the fields, but, like ‘jewel water^ 
shown with the ch^khiuhi^rUn^ emblem of the eighteenth day- 
count, as the moisture that clauses from the dirt of sin, that is, 
the blood of mortification. This metaphorEcat meaning continually 
presents itself more and more to the artists of these picture- 
writings Accordingly in our manuscript (fig. 43O), beside the 
Water Goddess, we see depicted a ring of flowers from within 
which a flowering tree breaks out. The stem of this flowering 
tree is certainly painied the colour of the water, i.e. blue* But as 
in these manuscripts the flower is so often placed simply for blood, 
here, too, we shall have to think of the metaphoricnl significance 
of the rhahhmhatL And should we still feel inclined to doubt 
this view, all doubis will be dispelled hj the CpdtA F/J/rv^fry 
picture (fig, 431). For here beside the flowering tree growing up 



from tbc jewelled bowl we ^ realistically reproduced the blood 
itself, with a heart figured in it," ^ 

Sclcr shows, too* that the deity of the evening star, 
Xipe, god of earth (and gold), and the goddess Chal- 
chiuhtlicLie, the goddess of water, ** are all alike equally 
signifioint for the quarter of the west^*—'the star, gold* 
the gem, moisture and the products of moisture, and 
earth, and the colours green and blue, are all connected 
in the complex Mexican symbolism, while, as shown in 
the long extract from Selcr, blood, water, jewels, feathers, 
flowers, and plants, are regarded as manifestations of llte 
substance, which is a purifier of sin, sin being a bye- 
product of death, and, therefore, an evil inBuence. 

The sacred things which cleansed human beings from 
sin also protected them, and were consequently worn as 
**ornaments” or placed on weapons and armour. Peter 
Martyr informs us that among the presents which Cortez, 
sent to Spain were: 

“twp helmets covered with bine prccimi^ stones; one edged 
with golden bells and many plates of gold, two golden knobs 
sustaining the bells. The olher covefcd with the same stones, 
but edged with aj gplden belts, crested with a green fowl sitting 
on the top of the helmet* whose feet, hill, and eyes were all of 
gold; and several golden knobs sustained every belL” 

As the voices of birds were the voices of the gods, the 
tinklings of bells were calls made by the deity who was in 
gold and was manifested by the bird with golden eyes. 
In Ancient Egypt the deity was summoned by the 

The serpent was, in America, a form of the deity, and 
the serpent jewel contained the life substance, or “external 
soul’* of the deity. These serpent jewels were the same 


as the Chinese dragoii pearls and the Asiatic and EurDpean 
gems produced by serpents, frogs, otters, &:c. Mortals 
who obtained one of these gems used it for enchantment, 
as the poet Gower informs us, to protect themselves from 
wounds, ilLhealth, &c, or to guide them by its light in 
dark placcsi. Jewels and feathers were connected- The 
Mexicans made artihclai feathers of gems and of gold as 
they made golden flowers. It was not merely for aesthetic 
reasons that jewels were manufactured in imitation of 
flowers, shells, See- 

As gems enabled men to work enchantment, or to 
become prophets and seers, because these gems possessed 
life substance and shed light, herbs likewise inspired them 
with divine wisdom and knowledge. Sacred intoxicants 
were prepared from sacred herbs. Early Christian 
missionaries in Mexico were supposed to ask members 
of their flocks, 

^^Hast thou drunk or hast thou given it to others to 

drink, in order to find out secret or to discover where stolen 
or lost srtidcs were? Dcsst thou know how to speak to vipers 
in such words that they obey thee 

Sahagun has recorded that the intoxicant p^os/ was made 
from a plant with a white tuberous root, and he states: 

“Those who eat or drink of this pfy^tl sec visions, which arc 
Sometimes frightful and some rimes ludicrous. The intoxication it 
causes lasts several days. The Chichimecs believed that ft gave 
them courage in time of danger and diinmished the pangs of 
hunger and thirst,” 

Father Augustin de Vetancurt, who lived in Mexico 
in the middle of the seventeenth century, tells that the 
pagan priests made an intoxicating ointment from the 
ashes of insects and worms and green leaves and seeds- 


The Influence exercised by this mixture was ^'attributed 
by them to divine agency’*. In southern M^ico and 
Yucatan an Intoxicating drink was prepared from the 
bark of a tree. The natives "attribute to it a sacred 
character, calling it yax Aa^ the first water, the primal fluid. 
They say", the priestly recorder states, "that it was the 
first liquid created by God, and when He returned to 
His heavenly home He left this beverage and its produc¬ 
tion in charge of the gods of the rains, the four Fah- 
Ahtuns (i,c, Chacs)." The gems (cAakAtutt/'^^ usually 
jadeitc, turquoise, emerald, chlormelanite or precious 
serpentine, not only protected human beings but pro¬ 
vided nourishment. Spanish missionaries asked at the 

*‘Dost thou believe and hold for very truth, that these green 
Stones give thee food and drink, even as thy ancestors believed, 
who died in their idotatryj Dost thou hdieve that they give 
success and prosperity and good things and all that thou hast 
or wishest f” 

Brinton, from whom these quotations are made,* states 
that "down to quite a recent date, and perhaps still, these 
green stones are employed in certain ceremonies among 
the Indians of Oxaca in order to ensure a plenteous 
matxc harvest. The largest car of corn in the field is 
selected and wrapped up in a cloth with some of these 
chdchiuitles. At the next corn-planting it is taken to 
the field and buried in the soil." In his TAe Evcluthfi 9/ 
tk< Dragon (pp. 2^5 c/ wy.) Professor Elliot Smith shows 
that the mother goddess was the thunder-stone, the 
meteoric stone, the moon stone, &c. All these were 
"life-givers". As surrogates of the Great Mother they 
promoted fertility. 


Si mil sir Ideas and practices were widespread in the 
Old World, aJid we cannot dismiss them as “simple", 
“natural", or “Jiievitable", in the manner that some 
confident theorists are so prone to do. The various 
complexes have a history; they were evidently the pro¬ 
ducts of prolonged and diverse experiences in various 
centres of civilization in which cults met and mingled 
and attempted to harmonize their creeds. The various 
cults had one thing In common. All their members 
feared death and pain, and searched for the animating 
and life-prolonging elixir of life—the divine fluid or 
substance containing the vital principle, the herbs, ston^, 
metals, &c., which possessed the colours, the light 
(i.e. fire), the shapes, odours, &c., of divine life. Gems 
were coagulated life blood, or “life substance", like the 
red jasper called by the Egyptians “ Blood of Isis", the 
various jades supposed by the Chinese to be hardened 
“grease" issuing from rock, the crj^stal supposed by 
Cam Ulus Teonardus, physician of Pizarro, as he states 
in his Mimr 9/ to be “snow turned to ice which 

has been hardening thirty years", the precious stones, 
“and even flint In small masses" which Bufibti regarded 
as “only exudations” from rock, and the American 
jadcite, &c., which, as we have seen, exuded water 
which was blood (jewel water). Feathers, flowers, gold, 
plants, &c., likewise had, as was supposed, their origin 
from divine fluid and yielded that fluid, or radiated the 
protecting and animating power of coagulated “life 
substance". It was after gold had been identifled with 
life substance that gold was widely searched for. 

These conceptions and practices lie behind the great 
mythologies of pre-Columbian America as they do behind 
many Old-World mythologies. They are really of more 
importance than the deides themselves. Gods may differ 


in appearance; they may speak difFerent languages, but 
they are all mtimately connected in Mexico, as in 
China and India, with the complex tore regarding the 
elixir of life. 

Considered apart from or along with Old-World 
lore regarding precious metals, precious stones, &c., the 
Americaii evidence appears but as a jxmt of a whole, and 
not as a complete and isolated system in itself. That the 
Old-World lore and the associated beliefs and practices 
were introduced into America by the searchers for elixirs 
of life in the form of precious metals, stones, pearls, 
wells, feathers, plants, &c,, there can be little doubt. 
Before and after the ancient mariners reached America 
the process of culture mixing was in active operation. 
India inherited much and contributed much, and as the 
migratory waves of humanity swept into China and 
beyond, and into Indonesia and Polynesia towards the 
American continent, fresh material was added and beliefs 
and customs were localixed and influenced by local 

In Mexican mythology, as in other American myth¬ 
ologies, the influences of various local cults can be traced. 
It does not follow, however, when allowance is being 
made for development in America, that the highest con¬ 
ceptions were necessarily the latest, or that the New-AVorld 
theologians were not stimulated by outside influences. The 
pantheon of the Aztecs, for instance, had, as has been indi¬ 
cated, its political and tribal aspect; after the theologies of 
the conquerors and conquered became fused, it reflected 
local politics as well as the views of the various cults. This 
process of arbitrary fusion is reflected by many complex¬ 
ities, obscurities, and contradictions. The gods sometimes 
tramp on one another's heels and their precise locations be¬ 
come uncertain. Further, the Mexican pantheon is found 


to include a god who hated war and human sacrifices, while 
the Aztec tribal deities required much human blood and 
promoted war so that victims might he obtained. The 
refined ideas of the searchers for elixirs In the form oi 
precious metals and precious stones were mixed up with 
the older and more savage ideas of the blood drinkers 
and head hunters, who regarded blood as the elixir. 

This process of culture mixing ts not peculiar to 
America. Both in China and Japan much confusion and 
spiritual unrest existed during the early centuries of our 
era in consequence of the importations of all sorts of 
religious ideas. Rival cults and sects exercised so baneful 
an influence on social life that it became absolutely essential 
to impose harmonizing systems by law. Individual 
teachers, accustomed to **a jumble of religious notions'*, 
sometimes attempted to introduce harmony by promoting 
a cult which drew upon various religious systems. 
Cubricus, the Babylonian, who called himself Manes 
and founded in the third century the cult of Manichacism, 
was one of these. He mixed up the old Babylonian 
religion with Buddhism, Zoroastrianism, and early 
Christianity, and after his death his faith spread far 
and wide, reaching China, Japan, Tibet, Southern India, 
and Ceylon, and passing westward to Syria, Anatolia, 
even to France and Spain. St. Augustine 
was a Manichaean before being converted to Christianity. 
That individual teachers similarly arose in America to 
promote new systems ftamed from existing cults is highly 
probable. It may be that^ as a result of the religious 
disturbances in Asia, there were companies of persecuted 
teachers who sought refuge in the New World in the 
early part of the Christian era, as did the Puritans of 
England in later times. 

Those who contend that the pre-Columbian myth- 


ologies and religious systems were of spontaneous 
generation, or, as they put it, of **independent origin", 
base their hypothesis on an insutlicient knowledge of the 
acdvides, movements, religious practices, and mythologies 
of the peoples of the Old World, as well as on hazardous 
assumptions regarding that greatest of all mysteries, the 
workings of the human mind. 


Abwliiikinr m Mrxkot 33d. 

Afiivc pbcLEj anlmid 00 nnccted witbf 
iii codica. i&i« 

— ^ a** Trw df Life 191. 
-d»cnptidn dfi 178* 

— -.goddeu of, i77» Sec Mo- 

--nap of* ft! pulqubc (veffctAblo 

mUlt). 178, t7fl. Sm Mitt, 

--Spaniih refeicnce 10^' nwlk “ 

of, tfl6, 187. 

AlmiioA lilimdft route td Aitbedci* 


Acnbcr, u life g^ver " 

13 , 

American tiviliaMiij bcglnnins? 
of, 1$ 0 MO- 

American mcca, Aaiiidc nee-endk 
of Etcd ladiuUp 116. 

— — Cchid theory, 05* 

—-^GkIIc numemb in CcumI 

— — Inicnnrtiiae of, wiih Asia, 
10 % cf Kg, 

— — Ifiah in Am^ca, ot- 

- -Midoc t^endp 95. 

-Norflemcn m America* 97 


-PbcEiiiriait theory* 91 ef 

— — Tbedrici u to the orivin df» 
B[ tt t*q. 

— — W^h in Amerioa* 95* 94 - 

AiDfita (Hindu elixir), mltk ai^d 
honey u, 185, eS6. 

Amulet!, ju tuieliuy apiritt, 31 

“ in Old end New World 
tmriid cmtomai 3^11 Sea 


Ammjij fanda of fflOthar goddoH* 
187* ]88, 

Armour, American and AaiatJci 

Artemis, the goddess, bee symbol 
of* 185^ 

-connected with fUh like 

American Mayaoelt 19J1 194 ^ 

— — the AmeHcm, 181. See 

— » tree and BcrpenE ocmnected 
with, i8n, 

— — wtnged disc ** i>inl»l and, 
63. See MofAer Godd^jr. 

Artemcsia, the herbs call^, Chinese 
and American ■ymboUwn of thr 
eamci 104+ See MugisirfU 

AatB* American mtCtCouiac with, 
by Behring Straits* lox, 103. 

— American linbi in North- 
eaatem, 11** II3. 

—^Axtec birth symbob* same as 
JtpiTMK, ao9. 

— boat linlci* lOS. See Boats. 

— “Celestul Dog" of China in 
Ainenn, 346, 347. 



AiLa^ oiliunl lint between Airtcrica 

ifidp iD^ ft 

—■ of, in Americaj ei 

— elephant-hcAded god of^ and 
American, 245* 

— Fluie-plAying god^ of* and the 
American^ 277 et 

gold trees ** in Old And New 
World*, 318 ef 

^ greenatnne aenrthers of, 301, 

tiltlidiJ iitf^hiS^hti^iUS myth tn. 
Mexioop iii et stq^ 

— jade links with AmcHcap 

^ Japanese * Ameticaii relatinnSp 


— rnclal aymbolkm of, aatnc os 

American, a ei jeg*, 318, 

— " Mugwort link, 111, 
nmmmificaUon links, 

— Ohiidkn e^Tnbalisin of, in 
America* et seq, 

^ pearling nxpeditioEiSf^ 300,, 301, 
^ pUte armour Unka, lot, 107^ 
1013 , 1:1, 

^ica roucea feoro* tn America* 

— fcarcli for ** Earthly PuidUe 
3i7f aiS. 

shell purple aymbotisnip 303 ti 

— ibcJli to aadit Krth, 509, 310, 

— anLaUgDdaof Indiaand A^ricn^ 
343* i+4. 

^ Vacm-woishIppLng people fmm* 

— winged disc eymbol m, and in 
Americap 62^ 

Athme, the Eoddess, laie se* 166, 
Atlantis theory* origin of, 86 ei teq,^ 

Axep Is sky support, 24S* 

— TlahK:'*, 048. 

— thunilcr tymbolp 23 s ^ 

Aiteci, « famdcnip 18, 

— Spaniards as " white gods *’ of, 
254 £! t^q. 

— tribute paid to, 19, 30* 

B,, the Mayo god letteredp 244, 

I Babylonia, AmfirEcaji ged Gucil^ 
matt and, 367* 26S* 

— Eq and deer and anskCp^ 250* 

— gem trees in Pkindise ofp 315, 

— grave fires in, 148, 

— influence of, in tiindu and 
Mexidn dDcrtTincs of World's 
Ages '*p 70. 

— ishtnr of, inrl Chinese goddess, 

— Ishur of, and Mexiain goddess, 
3 * 0 . 

— ManithfljMm in* 328. 

— pol symbol m, 169- 
— Eargon myih nfi 131. 

— ■*' Ship of Death ** bp 142* 

— Tammuz myth of, 131* 

BaeabSp the May** gods, Egyptian 

Hotiu gods and, 7Jt4 . 

^ TlaJqque and the Tn diin md 
Egyptun imoU gnds and, 143, 
Beads, i^itnection of^ with birth* 
209. See C>wtf+ 

— feathers and* 209, 

Behring Straitfi* mdture drifti 
octuM, 116 ei H9, 

— ^ intercourae between America 
ind Asia by ft-ay of, 102, 

Bird, the humming* as Mexican 
war god^ 284 et seq^ 

- -- featherlcs* b winter, iSo. 

Bird, the Onaikr, of Axtecs* 285 

ft s^. 

Birds and elephants* mixed in 
myths, 249, i^. S« Elef^OnL 
Birda and serpent myth, Bm^ 
croft'a theory regarding, 56* 
57 - 


Biftii iind KTpent myth* Brrntnii'* 
theory rri^rdin^i 43 it 

— — Huitzilopochtli mdp 1S4, 

— —^ ill Drtidtii Cwfex, 245^ i4&^ 

--m India, 47 Mq- 

— — Indian Garuda and Nfiga. 4S. 

— — in New and Old Worlds* 36 


^ —JapEincM Tengu and th^ 
Gomddp 5] if teq. 

^ Mexiotn eagle and an&ke 
rymbol, 54^ 

-oriirin of^ 45 ttg. 

-Kcretary-bbd Mnd* 45 ef 

— — TLlloc himI, 23s €t Mtq^ Set 

Due Symbol. 

Birda and 363, 376. 

Birda ^^on left Gredc and 
Ronian bdlefi rtgardEn^p z83. 

— — Hiiitxildpochili flndp 2S7- 

'-Imlliui rain-drtnking« 387- 

Birda, the Oracle, *" Caw nrntlii 
and m Hindu mythDlosVj 173* 
Birth, firt^ at, iSfip iSf. 

^ iJidLi IQ uiul: uxn regarding, 
309. 3 to. 

Black Current* Pacific lea-routep 
117, ]i8. 

Bktodp aa drink of dead, T49. 

— Wk " jewel water 305, 336. 

— fire and, in colour t^mbolonv 

— jewcla and, fgy, t^, 

— rain U* 205. 

^ aap Aip in Americap 311. 

“ mood bag mytli. In Old World 
and AmsncMf 114 ffq- 
Boat huriata* In Old and New 
Worldap 137 ei 
Boat caf&ni* t39i 
Boat in myth of in&ut god Qr hero, 
130 cl wtq^ 

Boats* American tradiddua r^aid* 
tdgp 126. 


Boata* dragon abip of Quetsdoiatlp 

— Egyptian type ofp in Pimfic. laS* 

113 , 

— Knryok boata with i^gyptiin 
features, m6. 

— long Voyages in* 399 ei ifq. See 
iJ&o iVr/i 3 fe. 

— Mexican li>Tnn regarding arnvBd 
of Ecttlcrm in, 363^ 264^ 

— nuotivea for andcut tnigrttidDa 
iup 297 rl teq. 

— ori^ of junkap i ib. 

— Polynesian marinefi, 130 ef 
Sec elao Prefacr. 

— make peoples And their wryagei 
m Afiiericip 300. 

^ Solomon^i aea tradep 123. 

Votan people aa seafaren* 2^6, 
300, Sec Shipt^ 

*' Brig q" Dread ", the American, 
1 S 7 . 

Biorise* American, 314, 31;^. 
Bronses, che Americanp not old, 89. 

I BuddhSp aa giini, 2A7 and Note t. 
“ fonipHjitf of, 84, 367- 

— ■** heart of *** 265. 

Buddhhm^ gem at ** Heart of 

People " in America^ 265. 

— gem tneea in Paradise nf* 319* 

— giant Buddha of Japan and 
Ameri^p 2&7 and Note 

— *■ Heart of Buddha “ end 
“ Hcort of People 363. 

^— link bemcen Japan and Amer- 
ioi, xiOp r2e>- 

— myth'-mixins in, 247. 

— Quetzaloaad *nd, 259p 262, 265. 

— '* reJigimu meritin gold and 
Kcma in, 9^ 

' — TelfCstlrpoda and mirim ofp 273. 

— white-bnirdcd auBaienarica in 
America, 269, 270* 

I — Zapotec footprint andp 267* 



thA Amencin 

aymboltaiii dfj 

Biirial ciulonx 3 F Americau cmuimi 
■implex frqoi begi»nin^i i6i„ | 

— — Affiitic and America IkikA 

in, I3S tt rej, 

— — boai burial in Old wmcl New 

Worldly 130 137 <# 

^ — bodiet devoured by BnundiSp 
]60p 161* 

-^dtu custnina In T^bct^ iS4t 

- -connecticui of» ^Itb meiher 

ppddeu behefit 176, 177, 

--cr«tnj)iion In Old and New 

Worldi, i+j fl J#fl. 

- - death fiiea and birth fire»i 

151.* 53 - 

^ — cnect pcHtyrc La Ckeama and 

Ireland p [56-^.^ 

— — fodt-buming cuatomp iS® ■ 

-- fuaiorti of custanifi in Amcii* 

ca, T56. 

- grave fires^ 146* i47i * 43 - 

— ^ grcei Atone* in mouths of 
dead in Amedta^ Aabp and 
Europcn aod. 

^ ^ hnd^bumlng nte» 1 j 6 . 

- - Id tndoncsia^ isd. 

— — ^ Oceanic tiibel and data 
cuatanUp 155. 

— ' ^ of expoture aJAWOi 

160^ t6], 

_ - ^ peula^ &€.» in mouthi of 

dead, 30!;^ 301. 

- - platform burUla la Old and 

New World*. i€i f 

- -mcli-crevine hnfloib and slg-' 

iij||{ 3 inoe of^ x 6 j. 

^ ^ «hflb in* 3011 3M- 

— — South Amerinanp ts 9 - 

^ — trre butiala and tignificaiiee 
of* 163. 

Burial euatoira, warming aoui in 
Borneo^ 14S. 

— — warming soul in CreDe^ 

— — water buiiala in Old and New 
Wwida^ iig ef uq. 

— — widow burning and *trang« 
ling, i^a* See MumrmfUatiorXy 

Butterfly, a* fire-god in Sootlind 
and Mexico^ 315. 

— as *pul in rariou* landa^ 315, 
3 i 6 » 331, 

^ the obsidkiip in America, 1 S 9 , 

Cambodiaj dvUbKtian of. See 

^ Cnpan elephants and tho« oC 
32 - 

— winged diic tymbol iHp 6a* 
Cnmelt AHieHcan rdic of, a8+ 
CeJcstial Dog, the* in China cmd 

Arrieriai, 246 * M 7 - 
Cdde doctrine of " World'a Ages ’V 

Celts in America^ nS 
Chac&p the, TlaJoqut and, 343- 

Chalrhiuhitlcuefpronounoed Chat* 
Of Chateh&oU 
iUk'miyyr Amenean godde**, m 
Great Mother^ igry et 
^ as ffkthor, 56. 

^ — at fish godded, 311 - 

— IS goddrt* of baptastn* 3 :l 3 j 333 * 
^ as *in-renuv«ri 313- 

Ithtar and* 309. 

^ Lake of, 3ii* 

Unks with Old World gndde*s<ii 

ilOp Slip 233 . 

— mugwnrt goddess. See Afyg* 

— pot (pitcher)* symbol of, 3q3* 

— reeds and gems of, tiOp aii^ 

— sacrifice of duldren to* 251* 

— aimiiai Co Artdiiis* 3 ii* 


Chilchtulitliciije* spinning end 

weaviTi^ pAtrdEiiicd ziXi 

^ i^TTibob oft ^zZf. 3^3. See Miig~ 

Cholchiuitl (jcnel), za6. 

— cuvc-tixake and, 165 . See Gtm. 

ChflTTtkft, u tutelary spirits^ 11 , 

—' eflf-omaiTiEnis ooiinected tilth 
eye and sun* 506^ 

^ — bp^numcDts amnected with 
hnitfe a*6, 

— »acn=d bundles and* ^07. See 

Cfiildrm^i Pamdhe* the Ameticanp 
with tnilic-yiekiing (xee^ 333. 

Chinn^ Azrec god Tlaloc and dra¬ 
gon cfp Z 34 er 

^ “ Plood bog myth in; aiso in 
Americfl, 114 rt 

— ^ butterfiy'^ouL bij aib. 

^ Cdcfitial Do^^'of, m Amedcai 
5a p 346, 347 * 

“ copper as subatltute for Jide iOp 

— euJri of East and ’Wear in, abi. 

— " ojltme mixing *' in, 32S,. 

— dragon ofp ^34 ej leg., ijS. 

— drngona and Jqde Created by 
goddess iiip zto. 

— Autc jn religious c^aiioniefi in, 
277 . 

^ gold da AenCe of aky, 8. 

— gold as “ life gjver '* in, 317 - 

— green itotics in txiouilis of dead 
in, 301. 

“ HadeSj cock ofj and god Te»att- 
lipoca, aSa. 

— Ishcar goddess of^ 2 x 0 , 

— jade symbolism of, 3, 107 * 
3 » 7 - 

— jade and Slone inirrum of, and 
the Amorioanp S74. 

— love goddess of, and the Mexi¬ 
can, 317, 


China, Mexican dragons and Ehose 
of. a 49 h 250* 

—mugvyort aymbotism of^ some as 
Anueriain, 304. 

— nrigin of reOgioul complexei of, 
i 37 » * 3 ®- 

— ptiiiijp jidCr ^c.t in mouths of 
dead ifip 301. 

— ** sliced shell ” or nmgqtaena 
symbol in, 359. 

— winged disc aymbol ifi* 
Churning of Ocean mythj in India, 

Japan, and Amcnca, l 63 , 169, 
tgo, 191. 

Coh^ur s^mboli^^ Anverkan 
hmwn and white deeri 

-attributes of deidea* Sec., 

revealed by oolouia, 73 a 

- -<■ blood aord water, 333. 

^ blue deitica in Old and New 
Worlds I 7^, 77, 

— — cardinal pomts coloured, 71 

— —Chinese and Meaticon links 
in, 318. 

— — coloured jewcla and pot 
aymbolp snS. 

-colours of days, yem, 3 fc,| 

75 - 

--- cohiun of pbntSp herbsi and 

ilonca, 331. 336. 

— — doenrme of “ World** Ages ^ 
and, 64, b7,74. 

-Easter Island traces of, 73. 

-fire and sun polourSj 150. 

— — Fu-sang king^s coloured 
gamienliH 74 ^ 

-green heart charms in Old 

and New ’Worlds, Zpy* 

--green atones, green waleri 

green com, aos, ao6, 301* 

— — internal organs coloured in 
Old and New VTorlda, 78 et 



CDlmur meti] ftyntbol- 

\tm 2md, 64 ei 

' - Nile calouTB^ 3 ;dS* 

-ari^ of, 75* 76, 

-mn god^i oalDure^ 341. 

-Bed Indiati, 7:j-6. 

— — Bed Lind 360, 

— — Hhell milk calaun^ 306 

— — ahell-purple in Old ind New 
WoHda* 303 f f rtq. 

Hiloc'e ix»lDun» 241* 243+ 
^ Tlapalluo Rs! I^d 

^ -' World^H A^e^ cloture (Orttkj 

Indiajip Cdtjc, and Mexican), 57 p 
C epiKT, in AmericBii nUe}^, jio, 
3 Ti» 3 * 4 ^ 

— Peru>iAn coppi!r-(^ myth^ 22. 
Peruvian omammte nf, 310,311, 

^ putple-yidding Khelb^ cencb 
sbdlA and, 304-6+ 

—■ tearckrrc fpr^ in Amertei, 299, 

— lubaritutr fqr Jade^ in 

China, 274, 275+ 

CoraJ^ called life aiver \ 3*6, 
Com, milk in ( 2 uiu text)^ 30®j 


CaWp eardi u a, 173+ 

CbWp Cdtmlc, mciiiicr goddeie end, 

-— ' Seandlnaviim, 

Cow itvothcTp aa grajidrnntliCT of 

milk^yielding trees, 173, 

^ — conuiected with aun, Bre, Emga, 
gemip vcgetatioii, &cl, 174+ 

“ ffulta, njftip &c., from, 174+ 

— the Hindu, 172 tt itQ. 
Crcmitlon cuatiDm, American oere- 

TnoniuK T53 €f uq. 

— — bclicfii connected with, 143- 
5 - 

— - — T>t* Dftrpfidd^i theory as to 
engin of, 146, 

CrenuLtioii cuitefn, m Old and 
New Worldi, 143 rf 

— ^ Ourtzsloojitl uitroduced in 
Arnerica, 258+ See Firt and 

(jrtpn* F>f&. 

Crate Cruich, Xipc Totec and the 
Irish god^ 6. 

I Ciws, the, in Anwfiea, 84, 84, 

' CnidBxp thcp m Americap 84, 85, 

I Deer, dnigoret with hnrni of, 2^0+ 
— Texcattipoca and, 481* 

— Tliiloc undp 250. 

Diuui of the Epheaiinap Americen 
form of, iSi, 

Do;g, the Celestulp in Aaia and 
Amedca, 346, 347, 

— — ia China, 52, 53, 

— — tiar-apangled, 247, 

DofiSp aaerifiepd to rain god^ 251. 
Dmgonp Amerimn# tn hunuin 

■hapCp 252. 

-^Ameriom. origii^ ofi 236 tl 

— Chinese and American lioka, 

— Chlncsep Japanese, and Ameri- 
can, 36, 

— deer connection of^ in Bai^- 
ioium, 250. 

— feathered aerptnlr ** and, JJ, 

— ^ Bre feared by, 243. 

^ four Mexican dragona of car¬ 
dinal poinUp 249, 250. 

— good and had ntint of, 240, 

— Japartcae Tengu and, 5*- 
— Old World ideas regarding^ in 

Americap 248^ 

— Polynesian, 125- 
— Quetzal-Doatl §a, 257* 

^ talnvon aa, 50. 

—aefl fonru of, in Chinat Foly- 
neatfl, and America, 248+ 

— Tlaloc M, 134 er icj. 


Dragon poolsi in Old and Naw 
Worlds* if t. 

Dron^in slup» Qutczalcofld dqKtrts 
in* asA. 

VngatA, created by Quiww god« 
d(u* aio. 

Dragon's eggip 5&* 

** Dnjnkai^c93 of CbiJditii f^^tl- 
tbJ, *84, 185, tSS. 

nnd sriake symbol* the 
Mmdcan* 54. 

Ear ortmmenfiSp connected with 
eye and aun, 

Earthly Pwadise* Amjcricaii uardt 
forp 126^ 

-in Old and New Worlds, 

3 i 7 t JiS- 

East and Weit, andent rivnl culu 
of* 288* 2S9, 

Easier Maud, itonc ImogHol* 11 a. 

Eglg myth, a Peruvun^ 22. 

— — maimtalri m^th and» 56. 

E^'ptp Biideiit nulk cult of, 31O. 

— Aatec dwarf god and Bea, 2311* 


— bird and serpent myth in* 46. 

— ^ boats nf* in FaciEc* 108. 

— Cults of Emt (solar) and West 
(Csirian) in, a&i, 

— - green stone synibolufn of* aof. 

» Hapra milk m Nile, iSB. 

^ Hathor of, 166- 

— Hathor of. In Anwrica, 56* loS, 

— fiathor-oow of* 169, 

“ Hachdr's SyesmorE-fig, 1&3. 

— Hartu gods and AmEiican gods 
of cardinal points, 248. 

^ Honii gods and Maya Eocahs, 
* 44 - 

— his and Bather* 166. 

— Jasper aa ** Blood of Ish In, 


Egypt, Koryak boats flke EiTypdim, 


— lotus symbol of goddess, 130 , 

— milk^piuvtding vulture god- 
dtesses of, ]S8. 

—'murex shell and Nile colours 

“ Nags sloiy in, 31. 

— Neith of, and American Ma^ 
yauef, 193. 

— Nile god of, 170, 

— origin of wilier goddess of, i6g. 

— origin of winged dhe in, 6x* 

— Osiiis smd TUloe, 251. 

— paradUes of Osiris and Tlaloi?, 
252, 3 S 3 , 

— Ptabs of* and the Tlalo!|iie* 
Chaos* Baoabe, Marutt* and 
Rudras* 243. 

— shell and milk symbolism of^ 
306 cf 

— “ ship of With in, t40, t4i, 

^ sd^'er and malachite oEcred m 

dead and gods in* 315, 3x6. 

— spread of Osirian doctrines from, 


— “ throw ttlidc ” of. In America, 

— Tree of Life ** in* 55^ 

— Zuni inUk aymboliain and that 

Elephanij American and Indian 
gqda and, 317^ 

— Amedoan knowledge of* 2$ el 

— ns Indian and Amerfcan 


— connection of, with bird, 247* 

Copan representations of, 31 ft 

“ god of^ in India and America, 
244 , 24s. 

— Hindu Consha myth* 31* 




Etcphont, Hindu wnw oimJ 

cannectiond of, 15 ^ 

— ■*' Idtig-jTOsed god '* ftod, S3* 
Etcph^t mound, ^S* 

Elephant pipe*, 35- 

Eye. i^T^-nmflments comiected with, 



Feather syrnhohsm, 3*11 3^3* 3141 
izb. SscFtaihen, 

Feathered serpent, draRoa and, 53. 

--Indian origin of* 247 i ^43. 

-- Queiialnjail k, 357> 2^^* 

-Tlilloc and, 235 el 

_^ Votan, Ciacumnls and Ku^ 

kuibin and* 267 ct 
Fcathera, beads and, in blnh myth, 

^ In tacrihee of children cere* 
many, 251. 

Fiery wiDp i+a. 

Fig tree, American goddess Ma- 
ynuel fls ptBr iy-bineMted woman 
end, [Ssi 

— — Artefnia with icany breasta 
pcfBonifted^ 182. 

— as ■* mdk-^'tclding tree ^*1 i 3 z+ 

- — — dcicriptiofi of, tSl- 

--Hathor as goddts# of, 1S3. 

Fire, American behefa regarding, 
'were imported* * 5 *^ *5^+ 

_as feihcr and mother of ah 

thlngt ISO- 

— as “Tom our Father"" in 
Mexico, X$o. 

— birth fina in Modtso, iSOi 

— blood and, 1^0. 

— hutierfly connccied with^ by 
Gauh and AEteca* 215- 

— Cricanal Dqr '* end, 24^. M 7 - 

— colour aymboliam and* 321« 

— Cow mother" and^ 174- 
—> dead hi need q£ 149 * 

Frc, eattingutahed when goda were 
invoked, 14^- 

— hriedon firtaj 293^1 

— gold aSj 8+ 

—^ Hindu belidk regarding^ 149. 


— Hindu creatnr god « Epd of* 

— Huitulopncbili (u gii'cr of, 293-^ 

— Huitteilapocihiii aa B®d ofp^ 287^ 

— Persian fire worship* i6i. 

— procured Efom sun by Pmirian 
piirtor, 274» 275- 

^ Sootthh fire customsi ts^ 

— sun and* 287, 289- 

bapnam, 2L4^ 

Fur godi cremation cusEftm and, 

^ — Teccathpoca aa* 270+ 

— — "'the anciefit godin Mesi- 

w# 275. 37*- 

Fires atgravns, 14&* i47i 

Fab, mother goddess and, JM. 


Flint, connection of* with hirch* 

Flower** deidei of, as deitica ol 
love, in Mesico, tn 9 p 217^^, 230* 

, — Hindu symbolism of, 320^ 

— love charms* 219, 220* 22t.^ 

’ — symboliim of, yio* 32*^ 

Flute of gods* in Europe^ Asia* end 
America, 277, 278- 
I — TcEcadipnca find Krishnai 
players of, 277 ti 
Foam* as mlfk* 1"*+ 

_Uiiaitihed with miOfi, fiahVHi 

tears* &K„ ifr 7 * * 72 p t 9 D- 
^ in Zimi myth* i75‘ 

^ '* life lubstuicD '* in* iff?! ^75- 
— of pulciue pot* i9^« 

Foam cap, in Znai wm am- 
HHW, 17^^ 



Footpiinta of Biiddlm, in Old anii 
Ncfw^ Worfda* 8+^ 2 ^ 7 * 

FrPffH ihe, ^'cow Tnotbef^* indi 

* 74 - 

Frt^j TUIck; and Ffioat ot^ 251« 
FroE^ip milk aa^ J74^ See F«iiii. 

Gȣoe3^ Hbdu game 10 Amedcs^ 

Garden of U?ve in Ajftc mythij- 
logy , iia, 2*0. 

Gcma, Amtiiiam scipent ddtiea 
ftud, 58, sfl. 

— as life substance 311. 

— ns prottefora* 3^5- 

— A^cc king^i hoatti ofp 10 eJ 

— beads as birtb aymbol^ 209, 

— birth ooniiieciian of^ in Mraii;3)| 
208, 309- 

^ Buddhists and, 9^ 

—^ Celea^al damsel otated from, 
m Hindu myth, 237+ 

■— Ctmlt^idhilicue ^pnnected wjthp 

— ehnotd u iutefory spinti, zu 

— ** cow motherns giver of> 174- 

— deposited in kkea, ai. 

— fcaih^ and, ^34, 

—gem trees in Paradiiie, 319. 

— green sedocs m fertilize flcldij, 
3 iS- 

— green lymboUsm, 205^ 206. 301. 

— « Heart of People Mid Heart 
of Buddha 365. 

“ heavenly bodk» and, 330. 

— in gad-cBlIingt 323. 

— in sAcnhce? of diildren^ 151. 

— Ubtnr fwenra by her^ 209, 

— ppper as *" EkKKl of fits '^1 326. 

— " ieweJ water ", 326, 

— light-^viug gem in Ntnih's ark^ 

— tip amamcnl* oonnectod with 
lic^i 206, 

GemSp magie worldng with* 324, 

— mythi its to origin of* 326, 

— psycholpgica] motive for acardi 

foip 20^ 24. 

— reiigtous value of, in America^ 

^ searohem for gems spread mytha, 
&c.* Z28. 

— serpent* bird, and mongoose 
myths Ttgardingk 57 t 

— serpeot-jewd aymboltsm, 313^ 
3 ^- 

— eoiib DS in Aincriea, 320+ 

— Syrian godd^ adorned with, 
fi, am. 

— iuA put to in America* 4^ See 
Jtidt and Jespef and Jrmd fFdXer» 

God-mlifig cttemonvj 290^. 

Gold, American superstitions re¬ 
garding, a. 

^ as " immortal life S- 

— as life git^ ’V 3* 3*7^ 

— » " life substanM ", 326- 

— aa tree in Old und ^ew Wodds, 
318 ef »f. 

— Aetera conneeted gold with ^im* 

'—^ Aztec kiti g\ rdig^oua hoard 0^ 

— beOs oF, to call gods, 3x3^ 

— Buddhisti and, 9. 

— of, as tutelary spirits, 31.. 

— Chines* bdic&i tegardiiig, 8, 

depoaited in lakes, xi. 

—" ear orfiamenta connected! with 
eye and aun^ xo&% 

— ewfic* of hcav^* 8, 

— EgyptiML belk& regarding- 

Bre and, 3^ 

— Gaula ^ve to gods, g, 

“ gods u, 8. 

— bow wuhed in Peru, 311 el teq- 



Gold* in Arncrican all^y^ 310, I 

3iip Jia, ' 

•—jade and, 8. 

— Hindu bclicft resnrdiiig, 8. 

— light IB, S, 

—- lip ormmeiia connected with 
heart, 3^^ 

^ DugTHtiQEiA ot KorchcTS foFp 398 
el Kq^ 

— noT valued in Bouthern KoT«q^ 


— Old and New World aymbchBiA 
of» *3^ 

— pcarlfli and, in Oiina* ixiFjj 208. 

— Peruvian gnld-egg mythp 32^ 

— Fcriis'ian oirmnaeais ofi 310 ei 

— psyr^alogical rtiotives Tor ecarth 
Ibr* 30* 21, 24. 3*^ 

— purple shelK conch shells aidi 
3*4 h 3*5 p 

— Quetulcwt] and* 258. 

— ndigious obsminKS i^hen 
swthinj; for, Z el itq. 

— Tcligiout value ofp La Aincricip 

— uarchon for^ spread mythip&c.| 

— srulTed in mouths of Chloeie 
dcfldp 2 <yjt 

— SyrtAii goddess »nd* 8* 

— uses put CO in Ameiica* 3 et 

Wc*t Indian faliamaia of* 'fz. 

— ^heie obtained by pie-Colum* 
biait AmeKcansj ib ef stqr 

— why Americaiii aeiLrcbed fofi 
jr2 ei teq.^ 326^ 

“ Xipe Totec'a garment of* la. 
Gold seekers* Amerioin cult of, 4. 
Gourdp as ** loothet potmymboli* 


Gr^T the Holy, pot symbol and, 


Great MotheTp ns inilk RoddeM p 166 

-Zoni pot creation of, 175. 

Gireoep doctrine of World's 
Agra " in, 44. 

— milk elixir in, 3obp 308^ 309^ 

— hbntions uf milk, wine* m* 

2S9P 29 Dd 

Green'-amne deitiea, Chalchiuhtli- 
cue aa one, 197 Cf 40?- 

— — TLoiicalii goddras as one, lOfl. 
Greenstone syniboliam^ Z05* 
GnemoAtz, Quetsalcoail and* 2^7 


Hrad-lUttening customp in Korea 
and AmentSp 112. 

Heart, lip oriiamcnl connected 
with, 206. 

HcibSp sacred intnxic^ts frun4 


HerculeSp Huitzilopochtii andp 280. 
Hindu myth in Amcricap 222 ef 

Homerp Bird and Serpent inyth in, 
46, 47- 

Honey symboUsin, in Mexico and 
Greece* 289* 290. 

Horses* oow mother of* in Hindu 
myth, 173, 

Huitzil epoch tli (pronounced kA«I'* 

aa fiTO and sun 

gpd* 287# 

— as “ gh'er of fire 293* 

— as Herculc*, 286+ 

— aa Huiixiionp 285 
^ as Meatiilip 286. 

- — isacwuted with. 'Teze^tupotA 
and Tlaloc, 384^ 

— as star godk 189. 

— Aztec war and sun god, 7. 

— humming bird andf 284 el se^i 

I —hummliigbirdtolcfiCsouthn 
I a 87 i ^ 


Hi4it2i]opocht]i« humramg bird 
rcdih«r1ess in ttincer* 

— idc»l of, 586* 

— btisg^s off cttcEtbotunUy cateiif 

— DTfldc bird oi, 2&S. 

^ P^yital (Ffi>tialtQii) as deputy 
for^ 593 * 

— Sbiva undp 293, 294. 

— Ekull «rad«, 294 p aqIp 

— Teicodipwa andt 375t ^ 84 - 
virgin motbcrr Bud iiiiracul9U!i 
binh of, 587* 

— winter deep of, as teatberlest 
humming birdp 

Hiiitzitnn, gnd HinttilDpochtti ondp 
1 B 5 €{ loq. 

Human s££riiite 9 j in Old end New 

Worldsj 595. 

HuimniiiB bird, feaiherles4 in 
winter, 189. 

- HuitKilopochtii 119 bird '* tn 

Inft (feniitb) ", 287-9. 

-- Mexican war-gad bird^ ^84 

€i seq , 

IminonalltTp guld as gbrnr gf, S. 
Independent Origin tbearyi bird 
and Kfpcnt rnytlip 36 ei Mfl. 

-- nrigui and hjatory of, 23 

37 "ff-* 3 ^^* 

India, Aztec TWws and gad Indrm 
ofp 134. 

— taiid and flcrpeni myth iop 47 
cf t€q,. 

— BruJimn la fire iHp 130. 

~ BmhmBnic tpeculatioDS obecure 
mp 288. 

— bufial cuxiami mp 106^ 

— Celadil Ganget In pamdise of, 

— " cow moiher 172 setf- 

— ** cow mother " and fkiUky 
Ocean ” myth^ 17J « 


fndifl^ Cremation custom bciic£& li\ 

— doctrine of" World’^s Aga " in, 
65 ti teq. 

— early i^urate oi SM-Carefi iiv 

— elephant of, in America, 29 ^ 
Mtq., 317. 

— dcpliant and snake connectkoi 
in* 247, 248. 

— fnam as milk In, ijt, 

— Carudi and celestial dog of 
China and Amenca* 547* 

— geim, iibeUs, flower*, &c., con¬ 
nected with deities in* 319, 310. 

^ god Indr* of, md American 
Tlaloc, 2411 

^ gold 09 form of gods* ind og 
Ere, light, immoftality* 3tc„ ini 3^ 
^ gold oa life giver ” in, a. 3*7- 
’— Hindu mytb horn Mohd-ifhdrota 
in America , iia tL uq^ 

— Indra and TIoIoc^k 241, 051- 

— Japortese Tengu and Hindu 
Ganida^ St rt itq- 

— Kama myth of* i%it, 

— Kiiahna and Tescailipocaj 273, 

276. 377. 1*2. aSj- 

— Kubers of, and mongoOMt 57* 

—^ Kubera of, and TeacatfipotAi 


— life-giiiing river ofp 135. 

— Monjcs of, and Attec Tkloque, 
fi:c.p 242,243. 

— milk and other llbationa in, x 39 . 
—• milk etixiri 30^-9- 

— milk-yielding trees in, i 73* 

— NagM and Tlaloc, 249, 

’— pearhiig beds of, 300. 

— Pol uf Plenty in, i7i* 

— pot ayrnbolism in, 17^' 

— Quetzolcoatl cult &um« 2164* 



ffKfmi rke ctk« as substitutes 
humBD bdn^ Ir+ 290. 

— Sm of MOk CEi^itky Owmh 
t6S, 169. 

— Shiva wi HuJtdlapocbtllf 393^ 

— Shivs vad Tctotiipws, 280, 

— skulls iu nlfi^tting cert- 
znonics, 29^4 

— smsll ptKla oft and Anwncaa^ 

H 4 - 

— Tcscitiipoca and Kmhns, a 73 V 
176, 277, aS2, 2E3. 

— the IW Motberm myth of, 287* 

— winged dkc mymbol 62+ 

— “ mv-ndjcr^wxirking Atio»e ofp 
3 . 13 - 

Indonesi^j P^aiia In, JOO. 

— idfsters of, 299, 

— winged disc symbol in, 62. 

Ituoiicants, tht 3:^, 1^25. 

Ireland, dragon myth in, 50^. 
Itzamna, Qurtzalooatij imd, 


Jade and Jadesce, is -'life gi™”,, 

— — ChAlchiuhtllcuo's HfiSQciation 
with> 205. 

— ^ ChincK belieb ccgardingp 8^ 

* 52 . 

-wp^wr n subatkute for, 375^ 

—— created by Chinjcse godd^, 

-imngw of Tlalcc in, 251, 

^ — in Airinrica, 4. 

— — migiadans of awchen tor, 
296 ef rrq. 

--■ Old uid New World 

holism of, 13, 208. 

-- placed in tiiotitbft af Chined 

d«d, 207. 

-p^ychotogical motive fbar 

iwch fox^ 23^ 

Jade and jadette, QuetEnIcoatl oad^ 


-Su^hen vulued, iix* 

fipan^ American rdadtiiru witb, 

— Aztec Xolod and Japuue&e 

— DUck CUiTEnt ■' aea - Toute 
h?oifi, to Ameriia, 1:17^ 1x8. 

— cukiire midDg in, 328^ 
dragotH and Jadn created by 
goddess, 2 to, 

— ethnics ofj iiS. 

god of, and Tezcatlipoai, 

^Jeu^rl-cnmching In birth myths 
In iapin ind Mexico, 208. 

— love goddess ofj end the Mexx- 
on, 217, 118. 

— Mexican dmgons imd those of, 

249. 250. 

“ milk elkir in, jo6- 

— ocean churrung myth in, and in 
Mexico, 190, iqi. 

— pwl »i " tnma " in, 320^ 

— settlen from, in Amefica, iiS. 

— shell milk in, 306. 

— Tengu of, and American Inng- 
noacd |pod, 247- 

—winged dLic symbol in, 

Jasper, aa ** Blood of Isk *\ 32^- 
^ Jewd 'rtTilLia' life blood id, 197, 
199. 205. 

’-turkfy t& i^tnbol af, 24gL 


Jewels. See Gewu. 

Junks, ciigui of, ei6. 

Kiimchatdaldt boats of, 108* 

— herbs iTvd deitieB of^ 108. 
Krishna, Tiwitlipwi'b links w-Mti 

27|i 376* 277, 2S2* 283. 
Kukulksn, Quctzalcostl and^ 267 

4 i 



Lidy' of liue AoMTievi 

dns ZEE. 

LapiA 1b%u£i. goddeu li^tiir »ww 9 
by, 210. 

LcTe (south), biidi oOi in Mciico» 
Indln, Mid Gr«oc^ ^Sy-9* 

"* Life sdycn cor^i pchtIb* :^Td, 
jsdc^ asi H 7 . 

*' Life fiubQtBiice in jewels, 197. 

— — in aheUifc bcrbsi mmerah^ 
^c.p za4^ 

Lt|[ht, sold u, 

Lip arTLamjczia^ Connected with 
bemt, ^o6. 

Long-nosed god. 244-7. 

Lost AilMfitis theory,, 86 tl s€^* 
Love. Aztec goddess 2x7 et 

^ flowtjA « chirms for^ 4 X 9 # 

22 E. 

^ Mexlcao d^tiei ot^ 209« 

MBidens, the Beloved, of. hi 
Zuni myth, 309* 

MbLu» goddess of* 230 > 231 * 
MiUchitc. ofTerod In dead in Egypt* 


Mindiake, rcligidUA oltteniiicn in 
search fotp 2. 

Miajchzitm, 328^. 

M&n* ai pUoct of Tezcadipoca, 

hfairimd (pronounced md'you-ef). 
Bi Amcnoan Arwfmap X 77 » t 8 t+ 

“-la many'bresHtod gpddesS* ETy. 

— ftft milk gtiddcss, 178; iS^p E84, 
50S, 309. 

— IS nouriahcT of crops* 195. 

— Chiilctijuhtlicue ifid* 197. 

— connectiofi of. with iga^-e pknt. 


— crocodile - suckling Egyptian 
toddess and. 193. 

Mayaiiel. dngon-snake and,. j8o. 
—^ hah link with Anemis* 193, 194^ 
£jb auddei* E9|. 

— in GodSu^p 180. 

— in ocean-churmng myth, 191* 

^ pot tymhol of^ 1S9. 190. 

— pulque pot of, xSo, 

— solif connecticii of, iSd, iSi, 

— white animaJ ckf. i8t. 

^Iflaneaiaj Water butiai in. 133 d 


Mexican ooit of arms* 54. 2S5. ^86^ 
Mexico, bronxei of. not oy» 89, 
Mexitli, Huttsdlopochilj bs^ 28^- 
Migrations, modvcH Idr. 296 *t »f# 
Milk aa dixlr of life in Hindu 
mythology, 17*^ 

— as elixir of life in Did Emd New 
Worlds, i 84 > iSSi 30*-^* 

— foam la* 167. 172. 

— fifOni ihella, 306. 

— Greek ind Indian libahons of, 
t8s. a* 9 p 290. 

— Hindu Sea of {MUky Oaaio). 
i6E^ 169. 

— honey and mlDe dixir, 184* tS^. 
See vffnrila. 

— in corti in Zimi myth, 308* 


— in water in Hindu myth. 173. 

— — Maiden—goddessea supply, 
J 09 - 

— Maynuel and Zuni mother » 
givm of, 308, 309- 

— oiigiii of iymbolipii of. 

— pulque M, 178* 179. 

— *' sutntance of heth ” frotn 
(Zuni tcxOi 3t>^- 

— Tlxloc prayed to for. zjo. 

Milk goddess. 166 ft ifq, 

—- — hec and. e8s+ 

fig tree and* iSz, 185^ 



Milk ^^dea«, tnttlt oF^ in tTRSk 

" Milk of the Thistle Spanish 
fifiiBc For puJ^ue, [ 36 * 1S7, 
Milfc-liki! lap H 169. 

Milk mid Mjfum i3Si 

MUk and wi£i&, in Hindu niyth^ 

Milk Ubatknia in Greece and Irvdia^ 

Milk pot a]^Tiibo]]i "cow mother'^ 
Bnd» 167^ 

hfUk-p^dinif plant, 
agave, 173, 179, 163, ii+* 
Milk-^iddin^ tree, Arternb as 
tree, iSl. 

-in Chinese mythp i37- 

-in Hindu i73^ 

-in P4inKli8«, 253* 306* 

-^Inyauel as ArtemU* 181* 


** Milky OcGin **, the, in Hindu 
iii>'iholog>'p 172. 

*- MDky Wiy "p the, 169. 
hiirrtpr, Chinese Stotic Of jflde, a74i 

— cn’^tBUgtmng Jsnd* 272, 273 ^ 

^ PmiiLitiJi mirror, 

— Tczcatlipofs'fi gold, 280. 

— TcEcailipdC3i*a mifrof, 272 el lef. 
Mengtnsej secreuny-biid iimti 5 ?i 


Mnon^ Mapuel and^ i95h 

— pearl aiidp 273^ 320. 

' — revived in " water of life **i 136, 

— ahelb and^ 309-. 

Moon atesne^ the Induui* 273, 
Mother goddess, m cosmic oow* 


— — dead return to, 1761 177* 

— — flower and loVe goddefil ia, 

-Meyiiiel as. See Mdyouii. 

— — Mexican fottm of, 230 ef «g. 

' -^ milk pot and, 167. 

Mother goddess, milk-providing 
unimel forma of, 187, i8S^ 

-pot s,yiBlxil ofp 167 a rejp 

Mugwortr as " plant of life ", 117, 

— beliefa canDected with, in [rvdia 
and Asia, 108. 

— tn Amctioi and Asia, 11 u 
MommiBcatijDrL, Aakticand Amen- 

cam method* of, 103 «| Hq. 

— cdfiss and tribal practirap 155+ 

— h^adi only HTihalmed, 156, 

— origin ofp io5» 

' — ^ i-pieiid ofj from Old to New 
World* tas- 

— mum purple and* 306 ef uq^ 
Murex abeUp in QM and New 

Worldp 302 ft 

Nftga (tLndu srmke deity)* 
tian form, 51. 

— elcphiint and, 29* 247* 

— lire feared by* 245. 

— Tkloc Up 

NHgaa, good and bad mns of* a 4 ^>- 

— in America, 58, 

— Indian lore reitardmg, 48 rf wg- 

— Tlaloc and* 240* 24** 

— Tlaloque, and, 243- 
Nottemen, dbcovciy of America 

by, 97 ft tfq. 

Obflidianp mirrof of, in Peru, 2741 
= 7 S- 

^ itar god os butterlly of* 289. 

— Tewatbpom ond^ 272 ei ieg- 
“ Tescatlipocm'a iniDigea oF blaek^ 


Oceania, " Winged disc " symbol 
in, 62. 

— route of* 10 Artbcficap 120 ri ag. 
Original sin^ Dnctrioe of, in Mesa- 

CO, 213, See 5 rn. 

Ornaments, ear omaroenia con¬ 
nected with eye and &vuii 206. 


Qmanicatflr lip onwmCTti csanr 
nectpi with hearty aci 6 * Sec 
Goni* GWd^ Charm, and Jad*. 

Pacific 0 «M* mouTCfl for migTR- 
tioni Acrovap 196 
-— teiHnMiieA acro^i 11+ et 

PkiadiH-p IdvC£ g 4 ddc 3 £^ 3 p ziS-ii« 

F^ynalcon, ai deputy at Huitrakn 
pKhtlip 393* 

Peacock* M rain bird* *4^1 ^ 5 ^- 
Pisarb, callcsd ” Hfe ipvm ", 

— Chinese beUefii rrgtxdingp 15^^ 

— diitributioa of, jcks* 301. 

— dragons and, 314. 

— for dead in Asia and Amcricip 

— gotd and^ 307, seS. 

— Japanese ideas rcgaidmgi tHi 

— moon'pcorl Bitd dragoa-pearip 

— rught-shininff^ SWi 321- 

— Poljrnesian searchers foCp 135. 
pftjxhoJojpcal motive for scardi 
fori 24, 

— stuffed in mouths of Chintae 
deadp 207- 

— *' tama of Japan, 33*+ 

— u«3 put tDi m Amerim, 4. 

— valued in adUthctn Kor«p I lii. 
Pextip bronzes of, not old, 89. 

— egg myth of, 23 . 

— fire miirof of, zf4‘ 

— gold M'orken of, practised irri^ 
tion, 317, 318. 

— metal worlwrs of, 311* 

— Hdifice of children mi 295- 

— treasure seckera ofj 310 Mfl. 
PhcErucia+ " winged dive aymboL 

in, &2. 

Fbcmiciaiis, the, dW they eras* 
Alkc^? 92r-4* 


Pied PipcTi ihcp gods and, 17S et 

Plate armour, in AjIs and Amenca, 
106, la'tn 

FlAtTorm hmiali, idi el reg. 

Plutufi. Tfezcartipoca and* 283. 
Polynesia, ootonizen of, 124, 125+ 

— cultural links of, with America, 
[2oet teq. 

— feather lymboUim m, 3^^ 

— pearh in* 3 »p 

— Kfifarera of, 199. 

— u'lter burial in* 133 rl 

— " water of life " bdicTa to, 135, 

^ ** winged disc '* symbol in, 

^ mule Do America by* 120 €t 

— mentime attivittes of, 121 cf 
See Pr^aor. 

Pot symbol, 167 cl re^P 
— - Aaicc myth of thildren from 

pot* I £6. 

- - Gotud and, 170^ 

— — Hindu pot. lyt. 

’- Holy Grail and* 17*- 

- in America, 170. 

— — in flabylonia* 189. 

— —in Gaelic, 171. 

— —^ in India, 

^ ^ milk pot of goddrASp sfi7« 

^ pitcher of birth in Mexip^, 

_ « pulque pot as birth pot, i Sop 

-TIiiIdc and, 232+ 

— — 2£uni termetd bowl ai, 175- 
Psychic untiy tbwry, 37 , 1631 164 - 
Pulque, M milk, 178. t 79 p i^p 


— ^ children made dmnk with* i 84 « 

i8Sp 188. 

— oonncciion of, with dcjfics of 
death and life, 196- 



Fulcjue qodi slain by T«i»tUpoca. 
i 9 S> 194. 

PulquE phyw> 1 ^ 5 - 
FuJqiic pot. Wood rrom» tSo. 

— ^ littl** man md womAii in 
fiuih of^ iSd, i^x. 

Pkirpiti symbaliam, concb sbeUi 
and, 3(Hh 

_ » milk aymbcaliim ind| 8, 
-Old and New World, joz fl 


Ouctxalcaad (pronoimttd quet'znt* 
u creator, z&s. 

— m** feadiered acrpcai *V 

— Bs giver of chHdrcii, 

— m gpd of E^otp ^61, 3^7. 

^ as god of W'wt, 361. 

— m rnmfip ss pjd, aa dmgon, 357 
ef itq. 

— as ** maater of penince ", 375 + 
in prince of eajlic&t acttlera»2^ - 

«tar god, 358, 289. 

— as “ Hwoeper of imn god ", stfis- 

— » dnrnder god, 3 & 3 . 

— Gucumfltx andp 267 

— [mrmu mfid, 369. 

~ Kukulkan 4 nd, 367 tt fsg. 

— myth of, 257 €t Kg. 

^ penitcniiAl exerdics fintHiiod 

by\ 36a. 

— plfloc of oiigin oft 364, 3^5- 

^ pricat ofp in Hui’tealopoditli god- 
entinj; certmrmyp a^i- 

— prophecy ofp regarding “ white 
men ", 354, 

^ — repulftivfr fotm ofp 383, 

— St. Tbotnafl andp &S- 

— limilar teachefi found m South 

AmeritA, 369, 370, 

— Tezcadipocn ind^ 371 tt «g. 

— virgin mother of, 259. 

— Voun and, 365. 

— Wncepocooba and, 366, *67, 

RaceSp the Am^iaiip ihfioiw ro* 
gudmg, 81 fff 
Run» 3S blood, 30^ 32 [. 

— " Cdevdal E3tsg “ and^ 347. 

— ddtks oft b Urcfidftf Codea?p245t 


— good end bad* Bcnt by dmgona, 
249 - 

— Mexican and Endran hirda of, 

" no kft", aS7i iS®. 

— milk and, 109^ 

— peacock be bird of, 34O1 affo. 

— QucocaiccHt] andt afit. See 

— sloLiille in ocremoniea cn obtiuni 

— Tldoc BE god of, 234 et 

— ^eloc ^vei, tiTth milkt ^cc., 
250. 35* + 

— turkey aa bird ofp 249, 350. 

ReiI Indionft, ongmal Asiatic tiam^ 

land of| [ ifr. 

" Ited Land " CnapalUn). 259* 

Reedflp the burnt, in Chinew and 
Mexican myths^ 310. 

RhiiiDCcm, AmecMn knowledge 
ofp 38. 

Rivera p mBk “ in, i 73 - 
Ramnn milk aymbnlimii 187- 

St+ ThoiTmp bdief regarding viflst 
td Americap 85+ 

Snlivftp foam aSj t67i, 

SalmoOp dragon fiSp 
Sap, m blood p |ll. 

Semland, butterfly aool hr, 33t* 

— hre-bunErHy link with Mcnoo^ 

— luatndian ceremonies of, and 
the Mexican, 213+ 

^ sheU purpla m* 303' 

— " Tree o£ Life " in, 5»i S*- 



5cM>ilAndt tree- and watcr-momUsf 
myth in, 50. 

S<o^ American g<>ddeM of p 197,19^. 
Sea of Mitfc (MUlcy Okoh), 

HlndUp lyz.. See 
Oneatt Myfit, 

Scm^tMy-bird^inoiigiwe diapljKss 
Ui Indura mythp. 57. 

— " win^ dbc ** aymbol Euui^ 62* 

— jew'd of, 3 ^ 4 ’ 

Serpent, the featherwl, origin of* 
44 tt feq, S« Bird ajtd 

Afydi juid Diag^^ 

Serpent and bird myths in Old and 
New WoHdUp yh el See Bird 
and S€*p?nt Afydi. 

Serpent end ea|sle symbolp the 
Mcii«n, 54- 

Serpent ibipp QuceaJooatJ departs 
in^ 258. 

Sharks elephant and, 248. 

Shdlfi^ Ameriam end Asiatic ayno- 
baliam of the somc^ SD4p 321^ 

—’ Chalduuhilicue wcartp 199* 

— Chinew lymboliatn of, 

— conch ihelk and puiple mdul^ 
tiy, 304-6. 

—’ 10. Otd and New World burUl 
customi,^ 301^ 3*2 h 

— milfc fTom^ 306 ei 

— murex symbdim En Old srwl 
New Woridf, 301 itq. 

— purpIe-yieldinR atiella volued in 
Old and Netf Worlds, 303 et 

— symbolism of* 3*1- 

— Tlaloc> conch ahetif 309. 

— mm tn a^Ut birth, go^p 310- 
Ship of SdlUji^ 1381 i39i 
Ships. See BckiIt. 

Silver^ as afferins to dead and Rodj 
in Egyptp 3iy, 316. 

— Aiteca cemnected with n*()Cn, 

— Ekiddhitta andp 9i 

Silver* Peruvian mincH of, 314- 

— PemviiD oroaments with* 310* 
3 ir. 

— Pctuvwi silver cgp mythp 2a. 

— peycholoiEical irmtive for Horch 
far, 24. 

— purple fihelia* coneb ahidk, and* 
304, 305* seS- 

— OuetcaLcoatl andp 

^ senrehers for, m Amerim, 

— trees aU 317- 

— uaes py t to In America, 4. 

Sin. ChalchiuhtUcvo andi 322* 323- 

— TiaCAiUpota am Lord ofi aSi. 

— TcscnUipoca tabea swny^ 383. 
See Onginat StA. 

Sin ^^ter, A^tec godektse as, 229* 

Sktiil oncicsi 294, 

*"* Smoking Alirror the* 27 ^ ^ 

Snake, Bancroft OH tymfHjlkni o 4 * 
Jbp S7- 

— cQve snake god tn AmeticS* 

— Ea of Babylonia connerxed willh 

^elephant tmd* 29 rf «9.* 247 » 

— Thd&c Mp 235 rf nq. See Bad 

md Sitpfnt Aiyfh. 

Sruike and eAgle aymbol, the Mexi¬ 
can* 54- 

“ Snnke iMMples Americ* rcKhed 
by, 30c it 

Snake women* Aitec fioddeMi aa, 
23 ,tj, 233 i See Dn^on fPfliwafT+ 
Snolce worship^ See Bird siui Sn* 
pent Myfhi DragoH, and Nssa, 
Snak», ** milk ahclJ " of dmutin- 
^akc^* 309. 

— awsllowed at Tliioc f^tivali 


Salomon'^ Kft trade^ 123* 124, 



Sirma mlUk bcmey as, 

1 ^ 5 , id 6 . 

Soul ship, z jS, 139^ 14^^ 

Scula, £utifa of, in Amcricsi 320. 
South a& left beliefs bs m 
■ left in Mexioo* Indiji* nod 
Gtocce* aS7, aS®, S« 

Spun, carl^ culcuml mlliicncx iiif 

Spider'9 webj as aky Ladder of Tex* 
CBtlipoca^ iS. 

Star, “ Cdcstia] Dog" ss* 

S 47 . 

— lliiitzilapocblli, TcEcatlipCKM, 
QuctzaJcoatl, and obudiua btit- 
terffy " 0^ aSq- 

— Quetznlcuatl m ft, ^5$, a^o. 

— Xipc aa evening *lmr, 333+ 

Star mydu* JdpaneM and McaicsiLj 


Stnn, pearls and* 310. 

*' Stone Men ", Fur Eastern trsdl- 
lk*ns regqrdlngt ttM, 

* -the Eaatcr Island, lia. 

SioneSp preciDiis nnd Ecmi-pfeciaus. 
See Getfu. 

Btreatns, American goddess nft 


Sum^t Oneufllcoatl of Era^ii, 26$, 


Sun, Ms ", 150, 176^ 

— ear nrmmmta connected whh* 

‘— Rro and, 150, 3S7, 2 & 9 . 

— lirndu bdiefi regarding sun and 
vef[etat4.oii, 171. 

— HuitzilopochlU 09 god of* 28.7, 
21 ^ 9 - 

— pearls and, 320. 

— ** seed etuff " from, 150. 

— shelband,3oo> 

Su-ihen (" Vildnes of East **), Id^ 

Su'shen* in Stod* Age al* 
though Hafarcis, far 150a yean, 

— jn^uence of, in Amertoi, 113, 

— jado valued by. III. 

Syoomare Eg, Hathor and Aitemb 

peisoqiScd, l8j« 

Tartary, Red Indian fTomon 
readied, lOa, 

TwMf foam amJ, 167, 

Tcrdary nuin in Amedcft, thfiory 
cegardlner 81* 62« 

Tezcmilipoca (proinjunced to-taf'- 
le~po-ca*)j ** blind god of 
justice 276, sSy. 

— aa birth god, 27^, 

— BA cocb who deedved. first 
woman, 181. 

— aa Em and lightning god, sSz. 

— aa god of drought end rain^ 276. 

— oa god of Great Bear 276. 

— as god of night vrind, 281, 

— as Krishna of Induii 276, 377, 
585^ 2S3, 

— ■ aa Lord of Sin and Blitidnasog 

— as love god, 27^^ 

— as majmed god, 

— as " master of penanoc **, 179# 

— as " Fied Piper "p 278 tfl uq. 

— sa second greatest Aeiec god# 

— ~ aa slur god, 276^ 289^ 

— aawdated With god of MTp 276+ 

— decf Jbot of, 281. 

— descent of, from beavHi oo 
spider^s webp 2 ^%^. 

— eagle fboc of, 2S1« 

— fire driU of, 176. 

— flint foot ef, 281 d 

— god "on right" (narth) op^ 
poung HuliprllopochiE as the god 

on. left " tsouth)^ 287. 



TcMatljpa*^. Bold mirror of, aSo. 

— Hituiu Kiiahni uid *' wtmjAer 
wcrtiD^ BtniM: *' of, 373 ► 


^ Ln Aitcc-Hiadu myih, 

— JiponE^ SuM-no-wo Md, aSi, 

— KruhiiB tnd. 37^1 *77, aSz, iSSp 
—- liiikt with Hindu. Kuhciu niul 

Grc^ Plutus. 3S3, 

^ Moib. fla platiet off aSi. 

^ Oh^djjin off 38a. 

^ QucttalcQttil a?! 

— fTepuliivc form of, 283.^ 

— Belf-ABcrtEce off 381# 

foot ofp a81 - 
'— Shivn iindp l&Qt 
^ aina rcidoved by, ^83. 

^ tfcijll ortde of, 394+ 

^ ilaya pulque god, 1^3, 

^ ** imoidng mirror ** of^ 27^ 

^ turifcy mid^ ayd* 

^ 5Cipc Tnice ifldp U 72 - 
Throw stick* in Old flod New 
Worlds^ 315- 

Thunder* Tlaloc m god of* 234 ii 
i<q. Sec Dr^^on. 

Th-under bird^ ajs ft f^7- 

^- coimcctiion of, witb elephml^ 


Tigress, the fiyingp Ameriaiii 

drtgon-wqmaii Up 25t. 

Tm+ Karchef? for* in Amwicap 399, 

— ised for bronze only in Peru* 
3 t 4 » 3 IF- 

TImIemt (piunouju^ fiflf-ocAl* a 
rum god, 334 H r^p 

— u giver of milk^ 251, 309 p 

— Lord of Gn™Tilings **** 
Oftirii WM ” Lard of Grom 
Fields.^' 2 ^u 

^ children McrifiCEd to, 251- 

— deer and, 2^0, 

— dragon acd« 56. Bee 

TLik»e, goddess and, 56. 

— goddess Cholchiuhtlicue ondi 
* 93 . 

— god of East, 240. 

— good and bad roina of, 349 ^- 

— HuitxilDpochtU aH»duted with, 

— in gem-blrtb myth, 208. 

— Indian NJkgas and, 240* 241. 

— jede and, 251. 

— milk-yidding tree in Flaradbe 
of, 253, 

—’ Paradise of, 25 a, 253 , 

— prayer lo, aso, 251 p 

— the Aftce rain god, 334 fl teg,, 
thunder bok of, 251. 

— upknd ddty Ulce CJimrse dra* 

gon* 240i 

TUIoque, the* ai broilim of 
** jewd-witer goddess, t^ft, 

— Chaos* B^bfl, Puha, &c., and, 

— liindu Majuia and, 243, 243 ' 
TLepalUn C* Land'll 


Trade* Altec ruraniis, 19^ 

Tree of Life, aguve plant asi 

— » Bfi “ miik-^yiclding tree 

— — in Ameri™ and in Old 
World* S 4 . 55. 

-- tree burUla and, sba. 

Trees, gold, ailver, and cotal oa* 
318 fl j<^. Ste 

Turkey, as rain bird^ a 49 > -S®- 
— TcMatUpoM and, 27*- 

Uprii^t burinl* in Old and New 
Worlds, isfr, 157 p S« 

Burial CktWMJ- 

Vases, as irrother pot ** tymbelia* 
170, See Fot and Creef Mother, 



Ve:geta.tljon,^ TlaJoc prti|T!d tc 

\^ltins bom btuiois^ 

** Vikiiii^ of the Eaat '* Su-shen 
as, 10^ £i uq. 

Vtracochi,, Cuotzalcoml of Pem, 
169, 370. 

Vtr^ l^ddoBSca ’ Qclovied 
Maideni milk qf (Zuid 

myth), 309- 

" Voice* cf Atits *V so* 

« Voice* of Birdi 50. 

Votan, gem symboii&m of cult oC, 


— Quetxelcoatl mid, 365, 

— 'nt 3 fshipp«ra of, vtnv 


Watar^ as purifyifis mflujenoc In 
Mexico, 313. 

^ connection of snake* witbi, 
4J. 44> S7t i3S. 

Watcr-und-wind doctrine, 175 Note 
i. 279.140. 

Water and wind, life od^nated by, 

Water btiiiol, in Giiatemabi* 177. 
--in PertLin Gulf and AB^ica, 

“ — water of life ” bdief and, 

135. See Bunal VuMt^mw. 

" Water of Life dying moon 
revived by, 136. 

— — Hinilu b^cf in* 135+ 

— Maori belief in, 13^, * 36. 

“ — pot symbol and, 170, tyr, 

— water bliiiol and. belief ID, 

Water pot, Hindn I>roiin bom in, 

— — mother goddo* 167 et 
Weil of IJfe, in Asm and Americai^ 


W«t and Eaat, cults of, 3S9, j 

** White goda *\ Spanuudt ea* 3^4 
ef ftq. 

Widow btimiag, 15S+ 

Widow itrOngling, 134^ 

--in Oc«uiia, 179, 

-^ Red Indiam and, 158. 

Widow®, in cremadon certmofiics* 
1 S 3 . tH 4 - 

W^uid-iifiii-watcr doctrine, 239^ 240^ 

— — in Zimi and Qune^ myiba, 
175 Note r. 

Wind and Watery Mecrigiiuted by, 


Wlnej Hindti m^tb of qrf^n o£ 
wme in Sea of Milk, 

W^inged disc, the, COimectiaii of* 
with moiber goddess, 63, 

--Mexican eagle synibol and, 


— — qd temple entrance* tn OM 
find New Woridsp 61-3, See 
Bird and S^rpatt,. 

IVlxcpcCochdt Quctzolcoatl and, 
3^5, 367. 

W'orld cow, 173. ^ec jlibcAer^ 
World pot* orEgm of life in* i fry* 
World'* Ages* oqkiiira qf Greek, 
Indian, Ccldc* and Mexican, 67^ 

-- doetTinca ofi in Old and New 

Worlds* 64 rf 1*9+ 

-Greek syalem, €4. 

— — f ['uidii flyEteio, 65 159, 

-- Hindu and Mexican linka, 

67* 68, 70, See Colour 8 ym~ 
boirtm and Mitfifmil^ohonu 

Xipc Tom (pronounced rftce'j^t 
tiff *k}^. ia evening star, 313, 

— — a* of west* aSy , 

-at master of pcnuic^ 


-as Pied PipcT* 278 ef ttq. 

— — as Red TexcailJpcica '** 27a 

- -god of gold, 4, 


Xipe Totec, golden garmem of* 

13 . 

— — Kuben of fiidia and, 284. 
“— ritft in worship of| + rl i£q. 

— — Teseatlipoca and* 280. 
XacbiciiJeGcal (pronoundHl 

^Uial^ ^ gutttuMl), goddm of 
love, 317 *«?» 

^ in loyth of Hiiufti 

origtni 222 tf^p 

Xoloii (pronounced Axtec 

awl* 232 * 233. 


Xolotl, tmks wltb Jiipan mid Egypt* 
232 p = 33 - 

Yflppin myth of MeiicOj Hwidu 
origin ofi 122 ct i^q, 

ZcaJH» the Amcxii^, 234^ 

» Tlflloc Slid Indm thioiw tfiunder^ 
bolt liktt zyi* 

Zimi milh and mm dhdr, 308* 30^ 
Zuni pot myth* 17^, 176. 

ZumJ vinpn goddc&fteA, 305. 

Priii^^ n CjVlPfll ifriixifl ^ Of fion,.